Wakako Hironaka is a Member of the House of Councillors (Upper House of the Japanese Diet) and a Standing Officer of the Democratic Party of Japan.Ms. Hironaka was first elected to the House of Councillors in 1986 by proportional representation.

In July 1998, she was elected from Chiba Prefecture by prefectural constituencies and was reelected in 2004. She is now serving her fourth term. Ms. Hironaka is currently Chair of the Research Committee on Economy, Industry and Employment and a Member of the Committee on Education, Culture, and Science.

In 2005-06 she served as the Vice President of the Democratic Party of Japan.

In 1993-94, she was the State Minister, Director-General of the Environment Agency in the Hosokawa Cabinet.Ms. Hironaka is also active internationally as Vice-Chair of Global Environmental Action (GEA), Co-Chair of Micro Credit Summit Council of Parliamentarians, as a Member of the World Commission on Forests and Sustainable Development, a member of the Earth Charter Commission, and as the International Senior Advisory Board of UNESCO.Ms. Hironaka received a B.A. in English from Ochanomizu Women’s University and an M.A. in Anthropology from Brandeis University. She has written several books, essays, translations, and critiques on education, culture, society, and women’s issues, including “Between Two Cultures: Woman-Her Work and Family” (1979), “Politics is Unexpectedly Interesting” (1989), and translations of Ezra Vogel’s “Japan as Number One,” and Haru Reischauer’s “Samurai & Silk (Kinu to Bushi).