Assessing the New Abe Administration in Japan

Assessing the New Abe Administration in Japan
Center on Japanese Economy and Business
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Center on Japanese Economy and Business, Columbia Business School
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New York
Former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi left a lasting impression as he left office earlier this year. He shook up the status quo in the political world by shifting the power from the Liberal Democratic Party headquarters to the prime minister's office, decentralized the LDP power base, and forced out any potential threat to his throne. These moves were perhaps needed, but also left the new prime minister, Shinzo Abe, on a path that has never been taken before. Everyone agrees that Prime Minister Abe has some large shoes to fill. Does he have the same charisma that Koizumi displayed to continue with reforms, political, economic, or otherwise? Does his choice of cabinet members show what kind of leader he will be? With both the domestic and international media touting him as a nationalist, how will he fare in foreign diplomacy? The answers are still quite vague and more will be known next year. That said, Gerald L. Curtis, Burgess Professor of Political Science, Columbia University, shared his insight on Prime Minister Abe and his administration to a packed audience on September 26. Professor Curtis was joined by the moderator, Hugh Patrick, Director of the Center on Japanese Economy and Business and R.D. Calkins Professor of International Business Emeritus, Columbia Business School. This reports the highlights of Professor Curtis' speech and the following discussion with audience members. The program was presented in partnership by the Weatherhead East Asian Institute and the Center on Japanese Economy and Business, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary.
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Suggested Citation:
2006, Assessing the New Abe Administration in Japan, Columbia University Academic Commons, http://hdl.handle.net/10022/AC:P:45.

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