12:30-14:30 Monday, July 1, 2013
Gerald Curtis and Koichi Nakano
July's upper house elections will be the most closely watched in Japan in many years as Shinzo Abe's LDP pushes for a two-thirds majority in both houses. Such a victory would enable the Prime Minister to pursue his attempts to reform the constitution and make the passage of other reforms a simple matter. Japan would be rid of the so-called "twisted Diet" that many have deemed a curse and a barrier to reform.
This election will be watched closely, not just in Japan, but across North Asia where a sense of wariness has developed among neighboring nations about what they see as a resurgent nationalism in Japan under Mr Abe. Japan's friends and allies, although they may not admit it publicly, will be closely watching this election too as they ponder the direction of Abe's administration.
Joining us at the FCCJ to discuss the likely outcomes of the election are three eminent political scientists.
Sophia University's Koicho Nakano is a prominent and astute observer of Japanese electoral politics and, in many ways, a staunch critic of Mr Abe's brand of nationalist-driven politics, as well as the kind of unfettered political power that this election may bring.
Columbia University's Gerry Curtis is active as a columnist, writer and speaker on Japanese politics, something he has been studying for more than four decades. Professor Curtis, who divides his time between the US and Japan, is also a specialist on US policy towards Japan and East Asia.
Come and join us at the club for what promises to be an entertaining discussion on an election whose ramifications will be felt for some time.