Japan has been charged with being extremely slow in closing the gender gap, particularly in politics. When I was a kid we took it for granted that men and women are of equal value and should receive equal pay for equal work. Education should be equal, opportunities should be equal, as should position, salary, mobility, and responsibilities in all areas of economy and politics.

I’m over 50 years old now, and so little has changed. Mine is the generation that should have ushered in all these changes, but we still haven’t got the job done yet. With daughters at home, I want the future to be better for them, and they must always know that they are not second-tiered citizens. So, it is great news that Tokushima has a woman has mayor. And not just any woman, but someone who is in their 30’s. This is great. It’s time for the next generation to start taking things over and making decisions of the future that we have been unable to provide for them.

It seems that the next job for my generation is to support and cheer on where needed, and to just get out of the way when things like this happen. Congratulations, Mayor Naito!