TOKYO – The Japanese government has named Keiko Tanaka, a female manager at Nissan Corp., as the new ambassador to Uruguay, Japan’s Foreign Ministry told Efe on Wednesday.
Until her appointment, Tanaka, 54, held a managerial position at Jatco, a subsidiary of Nissan, one of the most important manufacturers of automobile transmissions.
The new ambassador, who completed her studies in the United States, joined Nissan in 1984 and worked in the Yokohama-based company’s public relations department.
She was also responsible for brand strategy.
The new appointee, who is expected to reach Montevideo in the first week of November, is currently undergoing a Spanish language course, according to the Asahi newspaper reports.
A woman being named as an ambassador is exceptional in Japan, where only a small fraction of women hold positions of responsibility.
According to a study conducted by the Nikkei newspaper, less than 12 percent of women hold positions of responsibility in Japan, taking into account both the private and the public sectors.
This appointment falls under Prime Minister Sinzo Abe’s “Womenomics” strategy which seeks to increase the proportion of women in such positions to 30 percent by 2020, in both sectors.
“As a Nissan employee for 30 years, Ms. Tanaka has been a strong member of our leadership team. I also applaud the steps taken by the government of Japan to open more doors of opportunity for talented female leaders,” Nissan President Carlos Ghosn said in a statement congratulating the new ambassador.