I didnít attend the Junior GP Final Ė Zhenya Plushenko and I were at an event in America Ė and didnít see this jump myself, so, I wouldnít know how clean it was.  But, in any case, the quadruple jump landed by a girl in competition is a great achievement. Itís an achievement of historical importance.
The fact that it was done by a lady from Japan doesnít surprise me at all.  The Japanese singles skaters Ė men and ladies Ė are now making fantastic progress. There is a simple explanation to that: they donít have average or so-so achievements to hold on to. "Without a sparrow in hands, they are striving to catch a crane in the sky " (old saying). Itís a right thing to do.
The importance of the successful quad landed by a lady at an official event is hard Ė no, itís impossible - to overestimate for the world of figure skating.  Because, by this achievement, the Japanese girl has set totally different Ė much higher - standards. Well, ladies figure skating needed such a breakthrough. Itís probably remained stationary all those years. 
In my memory there is another break through in ladies skating that happened seven years ago. Interesting that it was also triggered by a Japanese, Midori Ito. She did a technically challenging, hard to execute even now jump Ėthe triple axel. Since then, though, nothing new, original that would make progress in ladies competition has been done.
My prognosis is that in the near future Ė maybe even this season Ė there will be a few more ladies doing quads successfully. One of them from Russia, I hope.  Iíve personally seen Ludmila Nelidina landing triple axels. There are talks, she shows some consistency in practice with quad toe. Quad-salchow and quad-toe are equal in difficulty. Although, of course, those jumps canít be compared to quad-loop, quad-flip or quad-lutz. 
My prognosis isnít overoptimistic or idealistic. Because there is an importance of making a first step in any field - just to show that such thing is possible.   
 

Miki Ando photo courtesy of Koichi Nakamura
From interivew by Andrei Mit'kov