Japan’s Political System and the Test of Covid 19

Posted By on Jun 9, 2020 in Events | 0 comments

Delphi on Zoom.

With Michael Penn


Friday April 17 3pm

Price: 2,000 yen for members; 5,000 yen for non-members. Please note this fee goes to the speaker, instead of going towards the food we would normally have. This system will allow us to pay for more and better speakers (I hope).

The political system in Japan is about to ‘make or break’ its reputation. As a variety of other systems around the world get pulverized by the virus, from China to America via the UK and Italy, Japan is in the eye of the storm. A deathly calm prevails. But we are all aware the storm is about to break over us. Will Japan’s vaunted bureaucrats cope? Will the Prime Minister rise to the occasion? Will his bias towards inaction be proved the right one, or will he be shown up by the aggressive Tokyo Governor, Koike? Will the media give accurate yet non-alarmist reporting? Will Japan’s emasculated opposition find a reason to cohere? Will Japan’s citizens behave with their famous stoical loyalty, or might they be driven to radical action?

Japan’s political credibility already took a hit during 3/11. An inexperienced team of democratically elected leaders broke against a wall of unsympathetic officials. Vested interests in the ministries and the nuclear industry responded ponderously to the crisis. Yet somehow, the blame was shifted onto Prime Minister Kan, despite the decades-long collusion in the notorious ‘Nuclear Village’. With Kan scapegoated, the system was given another lease of life. Will it survive another, arguably even more brutal test?

Find out the answer to these questions with our speaker, author, journalist and analyst Michael Penn. Attendees to his previous events will remember Michael’s crisp, authoritative insights on just how Japan’s sometimes grimy political mechanism works. Michael is a gifted linguist and researcher and has spent several decades in Japan. He runs his own respected news agency SNA and is a must-read for anyone interested in Japanese politics. He is the most persuasive political analyst in Japan at present.