Sachiyo Sakaguchi

2023 IVLP Impact Award Project: Empowering Women Candidates for Local & National Government Elections in JapanJapan

Sachiyo Sakaguchi has been a government secretary in the House of Representatives since 2009. From 2009-2022, She worked as a secretary under Mr. Shuhei Kishimoto, current governor of Wakayama Prefecture, former member of the House of Representatives. Since 2022, Sachiyo started working as a policy secretary under Mr. Motohisa Furukawa, a member of the House of Representatives.

Also in 2016, Sachiyo co-launched “NPO maggie’s Tokyo”, a cancer caring center which was originally established in Edinburgh in 1996. She has also been working as a fundraiser since then. “maggie’s” offers multi-professional services to anyone diagnosed with cancer, their family members, friends or carers for free of charge. The Tokyo center team got awarded the “Good Team Award” of “Nikkei Woman of The Year” in 2016.

IVLP Impact Award Project: Empowering Women Candidates for Local & National Government Elections in Japan

The project provided a support system for women candidates nationwide through various networking events and four training sessions with a total of 210 participants. The training sessions laid the groundwork for the network of women interested in running for office, to continue encouraging and supporting each other. Among the participants 20-30% were university students, and about half of the participants came from rural areas, showing the broad reach of the project beyond the capital and large urban centers.

The project included a hybrid workshop on gender equity in politics with a guest speaker from Rutgers University, along with three female members of the House of Representatives and one member of the House of Councilors, which was attended by 80 participants. Following a guided tour of the National Diet Building in November, young female Diet members representing various political parties talked with 55 project participants about the experiences necessary to become a political leader. They gave encouraging messages to young women who aspire to become politicians. As a result of the workshops, one participant decided to run for office as a local representative, three more have decided to become secretaries for Diet members, and another plans to lecture on the topic of women’s involvement in politics to high school students.

"This project is one opportunity for women to expand their network of political support for each other." - Sachiyo Sakaguchi

IVLP Exchange Experience 

Sachiyo was a participant in the IVLP Project Empowering Women's Political Leadership, organized by the U.S. Department of State and the Institute of International Education.

Sachiyo's exchange experience led to the development of her IVLP Impact Award Project: "When I visited the University of Texas, Center for Women’s and Gender Studies, I was very impressed with the excellent system and would love to share it with as many candidates as possible."

U.S. Communities Visited

Washington, DC; Manchester, NH; Portland, OR; Austin, TX

"There is a growing awareness that women need to be included up to critical mass, and even conservative parties are becoming more aware of the need to promote more women in their ranks, that a certain number of candidates must have women, and that if a conference body is to be formed, there must be a woman on the dais" - Project Participant.

Country: Japan 

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