Who Was Mayumi Moriyama: Japan's first, and the only female Chief Cabinet Secretary, Mayumi Moriyama passed away last Thursday. She was aged 93. Her husband, Kinji Moriyama was the late former transport minister of Japan.
Moriyama made headlines in 1990 when she tried presenting a trophy to a sumo champion in the ring. This was traditionally off-limits to women, and Moriyama was blocked by the Japan sumo Association.
She was a graduate of the University of Tokyo and was elected in 1980 to the House of Councillors, after working in the then Labour Ministry as a bureau chief. She then switched to the House of Representatives in 1996, serving three terms in the lower house and four terms in the lower house. She became a cabinet member first in 1989, assuming the post of director-general at the Environment Agency.
Moriyama was known for her dedicated efforts towards employment opportunities for women and men and was regarded as a trailblazer for female bureaucrats in Japan, during her time in the Labour Ministry. Tadamori Yoshima, the former lower house speaker, said that she was a lawmaker with a sharp mind and good decision-making abilities. He added that he remembered the time she was tackling numerous issues, even when she was not Cabinet Secretary. He had worked with Moriyama as a member of the policy study group of the Liberal Democratic Party, which ruled for a long time.
Mayumi Moriyama served as a Cabinet Secretary for six months, for Prime Minister Toshiki Kaifu. This lasted from 1989 to 1990. She worked as both the justice and the education minister.
She announced her retirement from politics in 2009, aged 81 after the Liberal Democratic Party refused to add her to its representation list for elections.
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