Towards 2020: How Should Japan Navigate its Politics and Economy?

By Yoshimasa Hayashi, Heizo Takenaka and Nik Gowing.

< Session Title >
G1 Global Conference 2014
Plenary Session I
Towards 2020: How Should Japan Navigate its Politics and Economy?

< Date > September 15, 2013
< Venue > GLOBIS University, Tokyo Campus
< Duration > 1:22:48

< Session description >
This session will discuss a possible roadmap on how Japan can best tackle its most pressing policy issues. Is Abenomics likely to succeed in pulling Japanese economy out of its deflationary spiral? How should various deregulatory steps be pursued and implemented, including the negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement? And what of relations with the neighboring countries? The expert panel on the Japanese economy and politics will assess the performance so far of the second Abe administration and will map out the agenda to be further discussed in the subsequent sessions.

Yoshimasa Hayashi
Member of the House of Councillors

Heizo Takenaka
Director, Global Security Research Institute
Professor, Keio University

Nik Gowing
International Broadcaster and Journalist


Mr. Hayashi graduated from the faculty of law at the University of Tokyo. He joined Mitsui & Co.,Ltd. in 1984. He received his MA from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He was elected to the House of Councillors for the first time in 1995, and has subsequently been reelected for four consecutive terms. He served as Deputy Secretary-General for the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) in the House of Councillors, Parliamentary Vice Minister for Finance, and Senior Vice Minister for the Cabinet Office. He was appointed to the Cabinet as Minister of Defense in 2008, and then as Minister of State for Economic and Fiscal Policy in 2009. And he stood as a candidate for the Presidency of the LDP in September 2012. Mr. Hayashi was previously Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries from December 2012 to September 2014.

Heizo Takenaka is a professor of Faculty of Policy Management and director of the Global Security Research Institute at Keio University in Japan. He was named to the Foundation Board of the World Economic Forum in 2007. Professor Takenaka's research interest is in economic policy. In 2001, Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi named Professor Takenaka the Minister for Economic/Fiscal Policy, in which position he chaired the Council on Economic and Fiscal Policy and steered macroeconomic policy. Over the next 5 and a half years, he spearheaded Japan's economic structural reform. In 2002, Professor Takenaka was named the Minister for both Financial Services and Economic/Fiscal Policy. In this capacity, he accomplished the disposal of non-performing loans of Japanese banks, which had hindered the Japanese economy for more than 10 years. In 2004, he was elected to the House of Councilors, and was named the Minister for both Economic/Fiscal Policy and Privatization of the Postal Services. In this capacity, he realized the privatization of Japan Post, the biggest public enterprise in Japan. In 2005, he was named the Minister for both Internal Affairs and Communication, and Privatization of the Postal Services. The following year, Professor Takenaka returned to academia, leaving both the Cabinet and the House of Councilors when Prime Minister Koizumi resigned.


Nik Gowing has been a main presenter for the BBC's international 24-hour news channel BBC World News, since 1996, where he presents The Hub with Nik Gowing, BBC World Debates, Dateline London and location coverage of major global stories. For 18 years he worked at ITN where he was bureau chief in Rome and Warsaw, and Diplomatic Editor for Channel Four News (1988-1996). He has been a member of the councils of Chatham House (1998‒2004), the Royal United Services Institute (2005‒present), and the Overseas Development Institute (2007-), the board of the Westminster Foundation for Democracy (1996-2005), and the advisory council at Wilton Park (1998-). He is a governor of the Ditchley Foundation. In 1994 he was a fellow at the Joan Shorenstein Barone Center in the J. F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.