Biography of Naoko Abe
Naoko Abe joined the Mainichi Newspaper, one of Japan’s largest and most influential newspapers, in 1981 after graduating from the International Christian University in Tokyo. She was the first woman political writer at the paper to cover the prime minister’s office, the foreign ministry, and the defense ministry. She travelled extensively with the paper and reported on international visits by Prime Ministers Nakasone and Takeshita. She represented Japan at the International Women in Journalism conference in Washington in 1990.
Ms. Abe moved to London with her British husband and two sons in 2001 and works as a freelance journalist/writer. She has written books about the British education system and family policies, and writes occasional general news stories for Japanese newspapers and magazines.
Ms. Abe has developed a strong interest in the culture and politics of plants and flowers in recent years. Her essays include a 15-month series about the ‘history of flowers’ in the Mainichi newspaper. One essay -- ‘Lucy and the daffodils" -- was chosen as one of Japan's “best essays" of 2011 by Bungei Shunju and was re-published in the book “Ningen Wa Sugoina” (Amazing Human Beings).