Taro Kono, Member of the House of Representatives, LDP
Thursday, May 28, 2015, 11:00 - 12:00
The long-ruling Liberal Democratic Party used to be known for its ideological diversity, despite its broadly conservative bent. The outlook of various LDP prime ministers and party factions had differed widely. Today, however, the conservative and nationalist trends within the party are more dominant than ever before. On the positive side, one can therefore say that the LDP is probably a more coherent political party organization now than it ever was in the past.
But a handful of skeptics still exist, and perhaps none are more prominent than Taro Kono, a House of Representatives lawmaker since 1996, representing cities such as Chigasaki and Hiratsuka in Kanagawa Prefecture. After serving in a variety of government posts, Kono ran for LDP presidency in 2009, placing second behind Sadakazu Tanigaki.
Kono is currently tasked with looking into administrative reform issues, and he has become concerned that the government is basing its economic plans on overly optimistic assumptions, including an "unrealistic" 2% target for economic growth. He will come to the Club to explain his view, especially in relation to the economic measures that he believes the administration should now be taking, such as a legal cap on state spending.