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Japan has been consumed by the ruling Democratic Party of Japan’s election campaign to select the party leader, who would then serve as the country’s prime minister. A year ago, the DPJ was elected amidst euphoric predictions that it would transform Japanese politics, reorient the country’s foreign policy, and regain Japanese influence in the region. Since then, the party has suffered plummeting public approval, the resignation of its senior leadership, and growing strains with the United States. Contenders in the September 14th election are incumbent Naoto Kan, criticized as ineffectual, and Ichiro Ozawa, who resigned twice from party positions in the past year due to ongoing corruption investigations.
Join us as our panelists discuss the wide-ranging implications of the DPJ election on Japan’s political landscape and policies. Will the winner survive as prime minister or be yet another short-term Japanese leader? Would a defeated Ozawa depart the DPJ to form another political party? How effective will the DPJ be in implementing policies? What do the results portend for Japan’s ability to make decisions and influence the region. Will the DPJ implement its agreement to redeploy U.S. military forces on Okinawa or seek a realignment of its alliance with Washington?
More About the Speakers
Dr. James E. Auer
Director of the Center for U.S.-Japan Studies and Cooperation at the Vanderbilt Institute for Public Policy Studies, Vanderbilt University
Dr. Kent E. Calder
Director of the Japan Studies Program and Director of the Edwin O. Reischauer Center for East Asian Studies, Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies
Senior Research Fellow, Northeast Asia, Asian Studies Center, The Heritage Foundation
Director, Asian Studies Center