Speech by Japan’s Chief-Cabinet Secretary Takeo Kawamura (河村建夫)

Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Takeo Kawamura (河村建夫) gave a speech at the Foreign Correspondents Club on December 17th, 2008. Kawamura is born in Hagi (Kawaguchi-ken – a beautiful Castle Town in the west of Japan’s main island, which is also host to many famous potters). Kawaguchi was Education Minister in Prime Minister Aso’s cabinet.

In his speech Kawamura of course mainly talked about the current global financial crisis and stimulation programs to support the economic recovery, to support new industries and new technologies. Another emphasis is consumer protection support of the consumer agency in view of recent food scandals, and other consumer good problems.

Points which I found interesting in Kawamura’s presentation where:

– A comprehensive law for decentralization is on the way for next year

– The basic law on space development

There was quite a long Q&A with discussion. What I found interesting was Kawamura’s answer to the question about the disputed Takeshima islands, that a solution in an international arbitration court is desirable.- This is the first time I heard about this possibility from Japanese leaders.

Asked also about the disputed Sentaku Islands, Kawamura mentioned the possibility of joint ownership areas for maritime resources, and the development of gas resources beyond the 200 mile territorial limits.

Takeo Kawamura (LDP)
Takeo Kawamura (LDP)

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LDP President (and candidates for the next Prime Minister) present their message

The candidates for the next President of the LDP (Liberal Democratic Party) of Japan presented their views and answered questions at the FCCJ in Tokyo to the foreign press. An LDP party electoral college (387 Diet members + 141 regional representatives, in total 528 votes) will vote to select the president on September 22, 2008, who is likely to become the next Prime Minister after Yasuo Fukuda’s resignation. The candidates are:

  • Nobuteru Ishihara (50), son of Governor Ishihara of Tokyo. Minister for Administrative and Regulatory Reform
  • Yuriko Koike (56), Journalist, Minister of Defence under Prime-Minister Abe
  • Taro Aso (67), Minister of Foreign Affairs und Prime Ministers Shinzo Abe and Junichiro Koizumi. Taro Aso is Roman Catholic. Studied at Stanford University and at the London School of Economics.
  • Shigeru Ishiba (51), Minister of Defence under Prime Minister Fukuda
  • Kaoru Yosano (70), currently State Minister for Economic and Fiscal Policy

Our comment:

Media generally predict that Taro Aso is likely to win the race for Presidency of the LDP and thus become next Prime Minister of Japan. Taro Aso comes from a leading family, and has wide experience.
Having attended the event at the Correspondents Club, in my opinion Mme Koike gave the clearest presentation – having worked as TV journalist clearly helps, but its also the content of her political program which is clear and meaningful and easy to understand. Mme Koike’s program included the plan to “destroy Kasumigaseki”, meaning that she plans to take political power from the Ministries to the Government and strengthen political leadership…

There is a generation gap between Aso (67) and Yosano (70) – and – Ishihara (50), Koike (56) and Ishiba (51). The presentations also clearly manifested this generation gap.
In my opinion Japan would benefit from diversity in leadership. Japan already has a number of outstanding women leaders, and would benefit to have some more women in politics as well, including top positions. So if I could vote – which I can’t – I would myself vote for Ms Koike, and I said so in a TV interview by Asahi-TV.

LDP Prime Minister's candidates
LDP Prime Minister’s candidates
LDP Prime Minister's candidates
LDP Prime Minister’s candidates
LDP Prime Minister's candidates
LDP Prime Minister’s candidates

Copyright 2013 Eurotechnology Japan KK All Rights Reserved