Satoko Kishimoto, Programme Coordinator for TNI’s Public Alternatives programme, has been elected mayor of Suginami City, a ward of 500,000 people in Tokyo. Satoko's colleagues at TNI are very happy for her.
Satoko, who has been based in Belgium since 2008, was an environmental activist in Japan in the 1990s. After studying environmental sociology, she started working for ASEED Japan, an environmental youth organisation. She began working with TNI in 2003, at the time of the third World Water Forum in Kyoto, Japan
She went on to start TNI’s Water Justice Project, seeking alternatives to water privatisation and co-founded the Reclaiming Public Water Network, which was created as a result of the book 'Reclaiming Public Water: Achievements, struggles and visions from around the world in 2005.
Recently she has worked on public services more broadly. She co-edited the widely-publicized The Future is Public (2020), a multi-author volume that argues that public services are more important than ever in the face of the climate catastrophe, mounting inequalities, and growing political unrest. In 2017, she was one of the writers of Reclaiming Public Services, vital reading for anyone interested in the future of local, democratic services like energy, water and health care. The book has become a touchstone for journalists and social movements on every continent: it is an in-depth world tour of new initiatives in public ownership and the variety of approaches to deprivatisation. In recent years she began blogging for the media outlet maga9 and became very active, joining many progressive political events in Japan online from Belgium.
TNI's wider community of associates and former staff from all over the world have been in touch to send their congratulations to Satoko.