G1 Global 2011: Rebirth of Japan - Panel Discussion 1/2 (Video)

Japan faces the challenge of balancing growth and social welfare while tackling mounting national debt as the fastest ageing society in the world. The tragedy of 3/11 offers Japan an opportunity to remake itself. What should be the future direction of political leadership in this country?

G1 Global Conference 2011
Plenary Session I - The Rebirth of Japan: the Political Landscape
Panel Discussion 1/2

< Panelists >
Yoriko Kawaguchi
Member of the House of Councillors

Keiro Kitagami
Member of the House of Representatives

Heizo Takenaka
Director, Global Security Research Institute at Keio University
Professor, Faculty of Policy Management

< Moderator >
Nik Gowing
Main Presenter, BBC World News

Video streaming and editing by V-CUBE


Ms. Kawaguchi has been a Member of the House of Councillors for the Liberal Democratic Party since 2005. She was Co-chair of the International Commission on Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament from 2008 to 2010; Special Adviser to the Prime Minister of Japan, responsible for foreign affairs, from 2004 to 2005; Minister for Foreign Affairs from 2002 to 2004 and Minister for the Environment from 2000 to 2002. Previously, Ms. Kawaguchi was a Managing Director of Suntory Ltd, Director General of Global Environmental Affairs at the Ministry of International Trade and Industry, and Minister at the Embassy of Japan to the United States. Ms. Kawaguchi holds an M.Phil in Economics from Yale University and a BA in International Relations from the University of Tokyo. In 2008, Ms. Kawaguchi was awarded Yale's Wilbur Cross Medal.

Mr. Keiro Kitagami was born in Tokyo in 1967. His family moved to Los Angeles when he was 9 months old because of his father's work. He graduated from Servite High School in Anaheim, California. He came back to Japan at the age of 19 after graduating from high school and went on to graduate from the Faculty of Law, Kyoto University. He worked for the Ministry of Finance from 1992 and resigned from his last position at the Department of the Treasury to become an official candidate of the Democratic Party (DPJ) in 2002. He won a seat in the 44th (2005) and 45th (2009) General Elections of the House of Representatives. Mr. Kitagami served as a Vice Chairman of the Diet Affairs Committee of the DPJ, a Senior Director of the Special Committee on North Korean Abductions and Other Issues of the House of Representatives and a Director of the Committee on Economy, Trade and Industry of the House of Representatives. Current post is Vice Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry. In 2004 Mr. Kitagami was honored as an Inamori Fellow by the Inamori Foundation and in 2007 as a Young Global Leader at the World Economic Forum (Davos Forum).

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.

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