Noemi Inoue is the first foreign-born woman to be elected as a local councillor in Japan. Originally from Bolivia, Noemi talks about how her ikigai around public service led to her starting an NPO, changing her nationality and then becoming a three-time elected politician in Sumida ward in Tokyo.
We had some issues with sound quality as is the joy of online recording but I loved hearing about Noemi’s story as a proud Sumida resident who is not ready to give up my British passport.
I am in awe of her!And so impressive to be interviewed in her third language too. I hope you enjoy it!
All the Podcasts for your listening pleasure
2:50 From Bolivia to Tokyo
5:30 Coming back to the workforce after 10 years
6:40 Mr Inoue suggests “why don’t you become Japanese and work for the UN?!”
7:20 And now why don’t you become a councillor?!
8:20 Changing nationality as part of a commitment to her Ikigai
11:40 Rights and Obligations
12:58 The trigger between idea and action to run for office
15:01 Seeing the challenges of foreigner living in Japan and wanting to ease that
17:00 “It’s not part of my job…” but doing it anyway from an act of service
20:50 Motivation to support those in needs in daily life2
2:30 Being a voice for the disenfranchised
22:42 Talking about the Sumida Koen renewal project
25:55 Challenges as a politician – how Noemi keeps going
28:42 Her secret weapon – an approachable politician!
30:30 Being not only a councillor but a friend
31:55 Where does she get her energy from?
33:21 Advice for foreigners in Japan
35:08 Taking your first step in public service
38:30 Noemi announces the next iteration of her Ikigai! (just kidding!)