Despite having a high level of voting by women, Japan has a poor record of female representation in elected government at both central and local levels. This article examines the position in local government and seeks to explore a number of possible explanations for the situation. It draws upon both theoretical and empirical work and identifies a variety of cultural, social and political barriers to\ud women seeking election for local government. The article concludes that there are growing pressures for change including from outside the current mainstream of Japanese politics
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