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Thursday, December 17, 2015, 12:00 - 13:30

Japan's Political Outlook for 2016
Michael Thomas Cucek
Adjunct Professor, Faculty of Social Sciences, Waseda University
Language: The speech and Q & A will be in English

 The struggle to find an effective political counterbalance to Shinzo Abe's Liberal Democratic Party-led government goes on. This week, the largest opposition Democratic Party of Japan agreed with the Japan Innovation Party to form a unified voting bloc in the Diet. Several other parties are jockeying for position ahead of the Upper House election next summer.

 The opposition has an uphill struggle. The DPJ-Innovation Party bloc would control just 92 seats in the Lower House, less than a third of the 291 seats held by the LDP. In the Upper House it would have 64, nearly half the strength of the LDP, which, with coalition partner Komeito, has a seemingly unassailable majority in both chambers.

 Veteran Japan-watcher and political scientist Michael Cucek has agreed to come to the Club and look ahead to the 2016 election. He will attempt to answer a key question. Can the opposition parties coalesce into an effective political force that might actually give Abe and the LDP a run for their money?

 Cucek is political consultant and author of the respected and widely read political blog Shisaku: http://shisaku.blogspot.jp/. He is also adjunct professor of social sciences at Waseda University and an adjunct fellow at Temple University Japan. He is a graduate of Stanford University.

 Please reserve in advance, 3211-3161 or on the website(still & TV cameras inclusive). The charge for members/members' guest is 1,750/2,700 yen; non-members including guest-members eligible to attend may pay in cash. (Menu: baked pasta with seafood cream sauce.) Reservations canceled less than one hour in advance for working press members, and 24 hours for all others, will be charged in full. Reservations and cancellations are not complete without confirmation. For meal service, please enter the room by 12:25.

Professional Activities Committee

Dec 17 15 PL Thomas Cucek018

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