• The July 2022 House of Councillors Election: An Introduction

    Getting to Know Japan Webinar (via Zoom) -- 1900 (JST) 7 July 2022

    In July one half of the seats in the House of Councillors, the upper house of Japan parliament, the Diet, will be up for election. Functioning at times like the U.S. Senate, the U.K.'s House of Lords and Germany's Bundesrat, the "House of Worthies" (as it was once called) is designed as a fire break against uncontrolled blazes of populism and partisanship. While a far weaker institution than its U.S., UK and German counterparts, it has provided voters with ways of expressing their anger, frustration and disgust at the ruling parties and their policies. It is the more gender balanced of the two houses of the Diet and has served as an initial testing ground broader political change. It has also been the silly house, where sleepy has-beens, opportunists, wannabees and buffoons have found six years of steady employment at the taxpayers' expense.


    What is up for grabs in the July 2022 House of Councillors election? How does the electoral system work and whom does it reward/punish? What are the major political trends being tested? Who are the inspiring, colorful or worrying candidates? Professor Michael Cucek of Temple University Japan offers a short introduction to House of Councillors election just in time for this triennial event.


    To join use this link to register with Zoom

    You will need the link and passcode provided in the confirmation email.

    This event is a part of YCAPS' "Getting to Know Japan Series" co-sponsored by The United States-Japan Foundation (USJF).


    Michael Cucek is Assistant Professor of Asian Studies at Temple University, Japan Campus (1/2020 - Present). He is a fellow at Temple University Japan’s Institute of Contemporary Japanese Studies (2014 - Present) and a senior advisor for consultancy Langley Esquire. Prior academic positions include Adjunct Professor of Political Science at Temple University, Japan Campus (9/2016-12/2019), Adjunct Professor of the Faculty of Social Sciences at Waseda University (10/2016-2/2020)and Adjunct Professor of the Faculty of Liberal Arts at Sophia University (4/2015 - 8/2015). For 15 years he was Senior Research Analyst at Okamoto Associates, a strategic and business consulting firm to Japanese multinationals and government affiliated agencies (1/1995 - 6/2010). Before that he a Research Associate at the Asahi National Broadcast Company (10/1992 - 9/1994). Professor Cucek's specializations include the history of China and Japan, Japanese politics, U.S. relations with Northeast and Southeast Asia, international politics and the history of racism.


    Format: This event will be off-the-record. Questions are encouraged. It will not be recorded.

    Registration: Required Link
    Moderators: Alex Chou

    Webinar Cost: Free of charge

    Co-sponsors: United States-Japan Foundation

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