21-year-old Haruka Yamashita was crowned Miss World Japan 2017 last September 4. She succeeds Priyanka Yoshikawa, her country’s first ever half-Indian national winner who made the Top 20 in Miss World 2016.
The artistically-inclined Tokyo native beat 30 other contestants for the national title – a field that was initially culled from over 7,000 applicants. Haruka speaks fluent English, having lived in the U.S. during her formative years. She is currently a student in Keio University Law School and is also a classically trained dancer.
Haruka will now travel to Singapore and China this November to compete in Miss World 2017, where she hopes to replicate the placement of her predecessor, Priyanka Yoshikawa, the first Japanese titleholder of Indian lineage.
An interesting note: Just like Priyanka Yoshikawa, 2017 1st Runner-Up Rumi Shinoda, is also of Indian descent. She was one notch short of securing a back-to-back half-Indian win.