July 28, 2016
A Woman Who is “Too Beautiful For a Politician”
Yuri Fujikawa is a member of the assembly in Hachinohe City, Aomori Prefecture. She was born in 1980, and holds a BA in psychology from Teikyo University.
In 2007, she ran and was elected for the first time to the assembly, and has been serving as a member since then. Her father used to be a politician as well, and after he lost an election for the second time, she took over his district and ran in 2007.
Soon after she was elected, she became famous for her stunning beauty, and this eventually led to the publication of a photo book of her in 2008. The media began referring to her as 美人すぎる市議… “bijinsugiru shigi,” which roughly translates to: “An assembly member who is too beautiful.” This then became a trend in the media, where they now refer to stunningly beautiful professional women as “bijinsugiru (profession name).” For example: bijinsugiru doctors, athletes, lawyers, etc..
Rather than being annoyed at the public’s focus on her looks, she is grateful at the attention, as local assembly members rarely get any attention in the media at all. However, Fujikawa says that she would like for people to be more interested in her policies than her looks, and hopes that this attention to her looks will ultimately lead to an interest in her politics as well.
As the media was focusing mainly on her looks, Fujikawa was busy accomplishing important work as a politician.
After the massive earthquake which hit Japan in 2011, the Japanese people have started thinking more about preparation for natural disasters. Many pet owners wonder what they will do with their pets in such a situation, as most localities in Japan do not allow animals into evacuation shelters. A lot of pet owners do not want to be forced to choose between abandoning their pets, or saving their own lives.
In March 2009, Fujikawa submitted a proposal which will allow people to bring pets with them to evacuation shelters. Prior to submission of this proposal, she researched the number of animals who had died in earthquakes and other disasters across Japan. She also looked into cases where owners were not allowed to bring their pets to evacuation shelters, and came across a one where a woman actually died because she refused to abandon her pets to go to the shelter.
After submitting this proposal three times, it finally passed in February 2010.