Kenneth Mori McElwain, Professor, Political Institutions, Public Opinion, University of Tokyo
Kensuke Takayasu, Seikei University Faculty of Law, Department of Political Science and Director of Center for Asian and Pacific Studies
Takuma Oohamazaki, Political Consultant
12:00-13:30 Friday, October 29, 2021
The speech and Q & A will be in English or Japanese with English interpretation
"What Next for Japanese Politics?"
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, who took over from the unpopular Yoshihide Suga earlier this month, is seen as a safe pair of political hands. Widely considered a moderate within the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), he must show that he can revive the pandemic-hit economy and keep his party united. He faces his first test with the lower house election on October 31st.
Few seriously expect the LDP and its coalition partner Komeito to lose their majority, but anything less than a strong showing could mean that Kishida's term in office is short-lived. A reinvigorated opposition alliance is hoping to give the coalition a bloody nose with a strategy of running unified candidates. If the LDP loses more than 30 seats, political analysts say LDP bosses might fret that Kishida is not popular enough to lead the country, or to take the party into an upper house election next year. That in turn would raise concerns that Japan has returned to a pattern of revolving-door prime ministers.
Here to help us make sense of the lower house election and what is at stake for Japan and the world are three seasoned political experts. Kenneth Mori McElwain is a political scientist at the University of Tokyo and a well-known bilingual commentator on Japanese political affairs. Takuma Oohamazaki is a political consultant and CEO of J.A.G. Japan, an election consulting firm. Kensuke Takayasu is a political scientist at Seikei University. Come along and hear what they have to say.
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