Political Leadership in the UK and Japan

24 April 2012

6:00 – 7:45pm, followed by a drinks reception to 8:45pm

Daiwa Foundation Japan House

Organised by the Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation

The next seminar in our 2012 series Leadership: People and Power in the UK and Japan looks at political leadership. The governing party changed in Japan in 2009 and the UK in 2010. In both cases, the new ruling party had spent a prolonged period out of power, and its leaders have had to forge a coalition to achieve a majority. Japan has plenty of experience of coalition governments, but its political leaders have often been criticised for ineffective leadership, and faced particular challenges following the earthquake last spring. What can the two countries learn from each other about political leadership? And to what extent are different leadership styles required by the different institutional set-ups in each country?

Taro Kono

Taro Kono is a Japanese Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) politician and a 5th term Member of the House of Representatives in the Diet. Born in 1963, Kono graduated from Georgetown University with a Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service. While in Washington, DC, Kono served for then Democratic Congressman Richard Shelby of Alabama for two years. Kono joined Fuji Xerox in 1986, moved to Fuji Xerox Asia Pacific in Singapore in 1991, and subsequently served as Managing Director at Nippon Tanshi from 1993 to 1996. Kono served in Prime Minister Koizumi’s final government as Senior Vice Minister of Justice from 2005 to 2006. Until the LDP defeat in the General Election in August 2009, Kono was the Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the House of the Representatives. In September 2009 he ran for the Leadership of the LDP and lost to Sadakazu Tanigaki.

Professor Keith Grint

Professor Keith Grint is Professor of Public Leadership and Management at Warwick University. He is also a Visiting Research Professor at Lancaster University, an Associate Fellow of the Saïd Business School, a Fellow of the Windsor Leadership Trust, a Fellow of the Sunningdale Institute, and a Visiting Scholar at Sydney University. He is a founding co-editor of the Sage journalLeadership, and also co-edits the Sage Handbook of Leadership. He has written on various aspects of leadership, including: leadership theory (Leadership: Limits and Possibilities, 2005); historical aspects of leadership (The Arts of Leadership, 2001); leadership in the military (Leadership, Management and Command: Rethinking D-Day, 2008); and leadership in the public sector (The Public Leadership Challenge) (forthcoming) (ed. with Stephen Brookes). He wrote the literature review for ‘Strengthening Leadership in the Public Sector’ (2000) a project of the Performance and Innovation Unit (Cabinet Office).

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