Doi Takako

(b. 1928)

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(b. 30 Nov. 1928).

Chairwoman of the Japan Socialist Party 1986–91 Japan's first female leader of a mainstream political party who became the first woman to hold the office of Speaker in the House of Representatives. A lecturer in constitutional law at Dôshisha University in Kyoto, she was persuaded to stand as a Japan Socialist Party ( JSP) candidate in the 1969 House of Representatives elections in Kobe's second constituency. She became a notable figure through her ability to avoid factional squabbles, concentrating instead on issues such as foreign affairs, the environment, and women's rights. She was elected vice‐chairwoman of the party in 1983. As chairwoman, she was able to project a popular and charismatic persona which appealed directly to the electorate. The combination of her personal popularity and a discredited Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) allowed the JSP to win a plurality of seats in 1989. The opposition parties combined won a majority of seats in the House of Councillors election. This was the first time that the ruling party had lost control of either House of the Diet since 1955. This feat was followed by a good, although less spectacular performance for the JSP in the 1990 House of Representatives election. Even though she had been responsible for such unprecedented electoral successes, Doi stepped down as party chairwoman in 1991, partly because of poor results in the local elections of that year. She remained the focus for the pacifist wing of her party until her reluctant acceptance of the speaker's chair in the lower house in 1993. Throughout her career, she retained an immutable attachment to the pacifist principles enshrined in the Japanese constitution.

Subjects: Contemporary History (Post 1945).

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