Kenji Eda, Co-Leader, Japan Innovation Party
Wednesday, November 26, 2014, 15:00 - 16:00
The Ishin no To, or the Japan Innovation Party (JIP), a new political party launched in September through a merger between the Japan Restoration Party led by Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto and Yuinotoh led by Kenji Eda, champions decentralization via political realignment.
The nation's third largest political party after the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and the opposition Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), the JIP had 42 House of Representatives members and 11 House of Councillors members in the run-up to the Dec. 14 general election.
The JIP co-headed by Hashimoto and Eda plans to field more than 100 candidates in the upcoming election in a bid to prevent the ruling coalition of the LDP and Komeito from retaining a majority in the powerful lower house.
Eda, 58, says Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is ignoring the Japanese people by calling a snap election which costs 70 billion yen in taxpayers money. He also says a majority of people are not benefiting from the Abenomics policy mix at all.
He will come to the club to elaborate on his party's election campaign and post-election strategy which may include allying with certain members of the DPJ to have a bigger say in Japanese politics and achieve the realignment objective.
A native of Okayama Prefecture, Eda joined the then Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI), now the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry after graduating from the University of Tokyo in 1979. He was fascinated by politics when he served as a secretary to MITI Minister and later Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto, another Okayama native.
He was first elected to the lower house in 2002. When Your Party was established in 2009, he became its secretary general. He left Your Party and launched Yuinotoh in 2013.