Seiko Noda, the executive acting secretary general of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, is known as a strong-willed lawmaker who has professed determination to become the first female prime minister of Japan.
Noda, 61, was among the LDP lawmakers who pushed for insurance coverage of fertility treatment and other support. She gave birth to a boy at the age 50 in 2011 through in vitro fertilization using a donated egg in the United States.
A graduate of Sophia University and granddaughter of a former construction minister, she has served as the minister of internal affairs and communications as well as consumer affairs minister, among other roles.
A nine-term House of Representatives lawmaker who does not belong to any faction in the LDP, Noda has expressed willingness to appoint women to half of the Cabinet posts if she becomes prime minister.