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
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.
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