On October 31st, Japan held a general election to determine the make-up of its lower house of parliament. It was also an opportunity for the ruling party’s new leader Fumio Kishida to gauge his popularity and determine the size of his government’s mandate. What do the results of this election mean for Japanese domestic policy, who exactly is Prime Minister Kishida, and how will Japanese foreign policy change in the coming months and years. To answer these questions and more, we are joined by Dr. Sheila Smith, a senior fellow for Asia Pacific Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations.
Sheila A. Smith is John E. Merow senior fellow for Asia Pacific studies at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). An expert on Japanese politics and foreign policy, she is the author of Japan Rearmed: The Politics of Military Power, Intimate Rivals: Japanese Domestic Politics and a Rising China (released in Japanese as 日中 親愛なる宿敵: 変容する日本政治と対中政策), and Japan’s New Politics and the U.S.-Japan Alliance. She is also the author of the CFR interactive guide Constitutional Change in Japan. Smith is a regular contributor to the CFR blog Asia Unbound and a frequent contributor to major media outlets in the United States and Asia.
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