15:00-16:00, Wednesday, May 29, 2013
President of the Democratic Party of Japan
Becoming the leader of a major political party should be a satisfying experience, but from the very beginning it was clear that Banri Kaieda would have a rough ride. The Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), which had won 308 seats in its landslide victory in August 2009, was walloped after three years in power, gaining only 57 seats in last December's elections, leading to the resignation of former DPJ president and Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda. Banri Kaieda himself was edged out in his Tokyo District No. 1 race by a 39-year-old LDP newcomer.
But in the wake of the DPJ meltdown, it was Kaieda, a soft-spoken economist with an interest in the Chinese classics, that the former ruling party turned to for the purpose of healing old wounds and to rebuild the organization. Kaieda made clear his commitment to return the DPJ to its roots and become a party that once again looks after the
interests of consumers, the working man, and those on fixed incomes.
Now, facing the July 2013 House of Councilors elections at a time when polls show the incumbent conservative government to be highly popular, Banri Kaieda must find a way to turn the tables and induce the Japanese public to give the DPJ another chance. Please come to the FCCJ to discover how he plans to do it.