Renho's Biography

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Born Hsieh Lien-fang, the daughter of a Taiwanese trader in Tokyo and a Japanese mother, Renho had dual nationality until at 18, she took Japanese nationality.

Or so she thought. In 2016, it emerged that Renho still retained her Taiwanese nationality and had to take further action to remove it.

Renho studied law at Aoyama Gakuin University in Tokyo, but entered the entertainment industry whilst there.

She became a Clarion Girl, travelling around Japan making visits to dealers in car audios made by Clarion.

For a while Renho was a newscaster on TV, but, in 1995, she went to Beijing to study Chinese.

In 1993 she married freelance journalist Nobuyuki Murata. They have twins.

In an interview with the Japan Times, Renho revealed that she was persuaded by Yoshito Sengoku, the minister in charge of national policy, to enter politics.

She was first elected to the Japanese upper house in 2004. Renho represents the Democratic Party of Japan.

In 2010, Renho was appointed Administrative Reform Minister.

Renho was the first Japanese Cabinet member with Chinese origins.

In July 2010, Renho gained a record 1.7 million votes in the upper-house elections. She was the only candidate in Japan to receive more than a million votes.

In September 2016, she was elected leader of the main opposition party, the Democratic Party.

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