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A mistaken image of Asia is that of a timeless and traditional place where convention and conservatism rule. Maverick Politicians sets the record straight by uncovering leaders who break the mould and create a unique style of politics. These men and women share one thing in common – a willingness to take the unorthodox approach to achieve the deep impact they are gunning for.
In this series, we discover how they challenge the status quo to get the job done. We assess their achievements and explore their working lives. We piece together their background, what drives them, and what their legacies will be.

Expert insights combined with historic television footage to depict issues that made the careers of these ‘originals’. We show the drama, humour and theatre surrounding these politicians. They are people who care about serious issues and ideals: personal freedom, the rule of law and education for the poor.

With the political upheavals around the world, this is a good time to look at the contrarian politicians in Asia who are offering much-needed new ideas for governance, and getting things done.

Koike Yuriko entered politics with hopes of affecting change. A former translator and newscaster, she is now the first female Governor of Tokyo.

A champion of environmental concerns, Koike, then as Minister, mooted the ‘Cool Biz’ campaign in 2005, reducing Japanese electricity consumption by limiting the use of air conditioning. The idea inspired the United Nations to launch the ‘Cool UN’ initiative subsequently in 2008. A fan of anime and manga; she has not been above appearing in full cosplay attire to celebrate and promote Tokyo’s urban subcultures.

Now as Governor of Tokyo, she is setting her sights on something bigger.


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Gabriel

Introvert, wanderer, blogger, foodie, a hip-hop music writer, and one of the co-founders of a tech start-up company called GigsManila.