FEBRUARY 4 (M0NDAY) JAPAN
11:45 a.m.-1:15 p.m.
Thomson Hall 317
University of Washington
Japanese Politics after Koizumi: Beginning of New-style Politics or End of Regime
Rei Shiratori, President of the Institute for Political Studies in Japan
Professor Rei Shiratori, President of the Institute for Political Studies in Japan (IPSJ), specializes in the theory of modern political analysis. He studied at Waseda and Oxford Universities and has published more than 30 books including "Japan in the 1980s" (Kodansha International), "Welfare State East and West" (with R. Rose, Oxford Univ. Press), and "Comparative Political Finance Among the Democracies" (with H. E. Alexander, Westview Press). He is recognized as the most reliable scholar in the analysis of political parties, elections, and voters' consciousness in Japan. Professor Shiratori is the Honorary Consul-General of the Republic of Malta.
The optimistic atmosphere of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) created by the overwhelming victory in the general election of the House of Representatives (Lower House) held on September 11, 2005, was quickly cooled down by the historic defeat of the LDP in the election of the House of Councillors (Upper House) held on July 29, 2007. In the Japanese bicameral parliament, the opposition Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) became the number one party and acquired the speaker. The DPJ together with other opposition parties occupies the absolute majority in the Upper House. Because the term
of membership of the Upper House is six years and only half of the total seats are re-elected every three years, this 'twisted' situation of Japanese bicameral parliament will continue until 2013. Mr. Yasuo FUKUDA, new President of the LDP, described on January 17 at the Annual Conference of the Party the present situation as 'a critical time of survival for LDP as a ruling party'. In the lecture, Dr. Shiratori will examine whether the present situation is `the Beginning of New Style Politics' under LDP dominance or 'the End of Regime' of the LDP Rule in Japanese politics.
Sponsored by the UW Japan Studies Program and East Asia Center.
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