Politics in Japan: the July Election and After

By Keiichiro Asao, Michael Cucek, Taro Kono and Jonathan Soble.

< Session Title >
G1 Global Conference 2013
Breakout Panel Session III <A >
Politics in Japan: the July Election and After

< Date > September 16, 2013
< Venue > GLOBIS University, Tokyo Campus
< Duration > 1:14:32

< Session description >
The Upper House election in July resulted in a resounding victory for the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, giving Shinzo Abe's coalition government a stable majority in both houses of the Diet. With polls still showing overwhelming support for Abe's leadership, does this signal a break from the country's revolving-door politics? And while the opposition parties continue to face the challenge of regaining voters' confidence, what are the prospects for party realignment? Two leading politicians from the LDP and Your Party are among the panelists to discuss the implications for the future of Japanese democracy.

Keiichiro Asao
Member of the House of Representatives

Michael Cucek
Research Associate, M.I.T. Center for International Studies
Author, Shisaku Blog

Taro Kono
Member of the House of Representatives

Jonathan Soble
Tokyo Bureau Chief, Financial Times


Chair of the Policy Research Council, Your Party. Received a Bachelor of Law from the University of Tokyo and joined Industrial Bank of Japan (IBJ) in 1987. Acquired a Master of Business Administration from Stanford University in 1992. Nominated as one of the "Young Global Leaders" by the World Economic Forum. Elected to the House of Councilors (Kanagawa district) in 1998. Re-elected to the House of Councilors in 2004. Elected to the House of Representatives (proportionally represented constituency of South Kanto region block) in 2009.

Michael Cucek is a research associate with the M.I.T. Center for International Studies and the author of the Shisaku blog on Japanese politics and society. A graduate of Stanford University, he has been involved in media, research and consulting on Japan for over 25 years. He has been a resident of Tokyo since 1994.

Mr. Kono Taro is a member of the House of Representatives. He graduated from Keio High School in Yokohama and from Georgetown University in Washington DC. He also attended the Central School of Planning and Statistics in Warsaw, Poland in 1984. Kono joined Fuji Xerox in 1986. He moved to Fuji Xerox Asia Pacific in Singapore in 1991. Kono was elected to the House of Representatives for the first time in 1996, and has been successively re-elected since then. In 2002, he was appointed Parliamentary Secretary for Public Management. Until 2009, Kono was the Chairman of the Standing Committees on Foreign Affairs. He also served as Senior Vice Minister of Justice from November 2005. In 2010, he was appointed as Deputy Secretary-General and to the Shadow Cabinet as Minister of State for Government Revitalization and Civil Service Reform. He has been President of Central Institute of Politics since 2012.


Jonathan Soble is Tokyo Bureau Chief for the Financial Times. He has been reporting from Japan since 2002, initially with Dow Jones Newswires and Reuters. Since joining the FT in 2007, he has won awards for his coverage of the Fukushima nuclear disaster and the Olympus accounting scandal. Born in Canada, he studied at the University of Toronto and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. He first lived in Japan as a high school exchange student.