Political Leadership in Japan after March 11th: Challenges at home and abroad


17 April 2012 from 6.30pm

The Japan Foundation, London
Russell Square House
10-12 Russell Square
London WC1B 5EH

Following the events of March 11th last year, Japan has been facing a number of challenges in terms of political leadership. Energy Policy is one area where a clear direction is needed to navigate the new landscape following the nuclear disaster at Fukushima. Similarly, strong leadership is required in the area of taxation reform in order to meet Japan’s current budgetary challenges, as is evidenced by the current political wranglings over increasing the rate of consumption tax. Then, on an international level, Japan needs to articulate a clear strategy in order not to get left behind in the constantly shifting seas of trade agreements that are being negotiated at this present time. These are just some of the many pressing issues that require strong and decisive leadership to emerge from within the Japanese political system – this event will discuss and assess what needs to be done to accomplish this.

Prof Akiko Yamanaka, Former Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs of Japan serves as Council member of the Japan Institute of International Affairs and Advisor on Research at the Japan Institute for International Policy Studies. She has been Visiting Professor at the United Nations University in Tokyo and Hokkaido University Graduate School and senior researcher at St. Antony’s College, Oxford University and CSIS in Washington D.C. She is currently Senior Visiting Scholar at Churchill College, Cambridge University.

William Horsley is an experienced journalist who has written and reported extensively on issues of governmental power and the role of the media during more than 30 years of international reporting and analysis. He spent 15 years as a BBC foreign correspondent for TV and Radio based in Asia and Europe. He is the co-author with Roger Buckley of a popular history of postwar Japan, Nippon: New Superpower.