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Japan's main opposition party elected its first female leader

Japan's main opposition party elected its first female leaderJapan's main opposition Democratic Party on Thursday elected a former cabinet minister Renho as its first female leader on Thursday, Reuters reports.

Born to a Japanese mother and Taiwanese father, the former TV announcer and mother of twins ,48-years old Renho, who goes by her given name only, was embarrassed this week when she discovered she held Taiwanese as well as Japanese citizenship. She believed paperwork to renounce her Taiwanese citizenship had been completed when she was a teenager but was recently notified by the de facto Taiwanese embassy in Japan that her Taiwanese citizenship was still valid.

She admitted on Thursday her party faces an uphill battle against the ruling LDP, which together with its junior partner dominates both houses of parliament.

An Asahi newspaper poll this week showed 40 percent of those surveyed support the LDP against 7 percent for the Democrats.

Renho beat former foreign minister Seiji Maehara and party lawmaker Yuichiro Tamaki in the leadership election.
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