From The Japan Times
Sharp-tongued Makiko Tanaka enjoys immense public popularity and is often cited in opinion polls as a top candidate for prime minister.
Her support for Junichiro Koizumi in the LDP presidential race is said to have helped him to garner wider public support, resulting in shaking the faction that traces its roots to the group established by her father, the late Prime Minister Kakuei Tanaka.
After studying at a high school in Philadelphia, she entered Waseda University. Upon graduation, she joined a theatrical company hoping to become an actress, but gave up her dream due to fierce opposition from her father.
She devoted herself to caring for her father after he suffered a stroke in 1985, and became determined to work as a politician to improve the nation's elderly care system.
Her popularity has also helped her husband, Naoki Tanaka, an LDP Upper House member, make a Diet comeback from the Niigata prefectural constituency after being beaten at home in neighboring Fukushima Prefecture, where he served as a Lower House member for three terms.