Fukuoka City’s virtual administrative district Kawaii Ward welcomed its newest mayor yesterday, Canadian Fukuoka resident Micaela Braithwaite. Braithwaite will be the second mayor of the “cute district” following former AKB48 member Mariko Shinoda who left the post earlier this year.

Kawaii Ward is an online ward of Fukuoka city with the aim of promoting Fukuoka’s deep ties with fashion and beauty compared to other parts of the country. A Fukuoka native, AKB’s Shinoda was chosen as the first mayor of Kawaii Ward upon its creation under Fukuoka City Mayor Soichiro Takashima in 2010.

However, as Kawaii Ward swelled in population to 41,700 people (including our own reporter Kuzo), there some accusations from Fukuoka residents claiming that Kawaii Ward was “promoting gender discrimination.”

The city, following an investigation, disregarded any accusations of sexism. However, they still deposed Mayor Shinoda in February of this year saying, “[these complaints] are not at all connected to Ms. Shinoda and we do not wish to cause her any more trouble.”

The position remained vacant until Mayor Braithwaite’s appointment on 10 September.

Micaeka Braithwaite moved to Japan in 2005 to attend high school in Miyazaki Prefecture. Following that, she continued to study Japanese while teaching English at conversation schools in Kumamoto and Fukuoka Prefectures. She was appointed the position of Mayor of Cute District for her work promoting Japan and Fukuoka via her blog and YouTube videos.

So far no statements have been from the Braithwaite administration over their plans to improve cuteness in Kawaii Ward. I’m just hoping they finally fix that pothole on the corner of Baby Panda Lane and Box of Kittens Blvd.

Source: Yahoo! Japan News (Japanese)
Kawaii Ward: Official Website (Japanese)
Micaela Braithwaite: Mikaera Desu
Top Image: YouTube – ミカエラ