Sub-title: Michael Penn, Tokyo’s foremost independent political commentator, will explain what to expect. (Guerrilla Salons are what we cal very short notice meetings to respond to urgent events).
Intro: Not only have we not gone back to normal after 2020’s ‘Annus Horribilis’, the situation has actually gotten worse. How did we get here? How do we get out of it?
Michael Penn will discuss the 2021 State of Emergency, and contrast it to the 2020 one under current PM Suga’s charismatic and highly successful predecessor Shinzo Abe.
Abe was aware of the importance of keeping the always ‘brittle’ Japanese economy afloat, and was careful not to make the lock-down too stringent.
Either through blind luck or Japanese cultural habits of cleanliness and isolation or most likely ab it of both, he managed to steer one of the world’s most successful paths through the two extremes.
What a tragedy for Suga that he comes to power in such circumstances. His popularity has already crashed to levels last seen during Abe’s catastrophic first term. He lacks Abe’s deep roots in the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, as well as the personal authority which Abe enjoyed by virtue of being the most successful politician of his generation.
Japan is in a terrible quandary. We have a new Prime Minister who is unpopular, unproven and potentially out of a job by the end of the year – plenty of challengers are waiting in the wings. The ‘ship of state’ is essentially sailing blind. Can Japan’s famously resilient inhabitants and its elite bureaucrats rise to the challenge, as they have so often in the past?
At this moment of crisis, any CEO wondering under what lies in store for his business should attend this event.
Bio: Dr. Michael Penn is a life-time student of Japanese politics. He is regarded as one of the most authentic and authoritative voices on Japanese politics, and helms the independent and influential news Agency SNA.
This is a hybrid event. If you are attending in person, it is essential that you let me know, as space is limited due to Covid safeguards. Otherwise, you can attend via Zoom. Note that the speaker will be on Zoom.
Date: January 12
Fee: 2,000Yen DN members, 5,000Yen non members.