Sato-Yamaguchi dialogue: Thoughts on policy and initiatives for a new era

January 1 , 2019

To kick of the new year, the party daily organ Komei Shimbun published a dialogue between Masaru Sato and Chief Representative Natsuo Yamaguchi. The two exchanged ideas and views on a wide range of policy issues facing Japan that are sure to shape the course of the nation’s future.

Mr. Sato, 59, served as an officer at the Japanese Foreign Ministry, rising to senior analyst stationed at the Embassy of Japan in Russia. The award-winning author presently works as a political commentator and policy expert on domestic and foreign affairs.

With the close of the Heisei period (1989-2019) approaching in May, Sato described the era as one characterized by the end of the Cold War and social transition, moving away from polarizing political ideologies to more centralist perspectives and values such as those embraced by Komeito.

Yamaguchi said a key role his party has played was to introduce stability and continuity in Japanese politics, thus making it possible to address many of the socioeconomic challenges that the nation confronted over the past three decades on a nonpartisan basis. Komeito, he added, aims to take similar initiative in the global community by creating through dialogue common ground for governments worldwide to take part in initiatives to advance peace and promote human security.

Sato pointed out that policy should inspire hope in society and its people rather than fostering division and conflict. He cited Komeito for its commitment to education, a core belief that the party has actualized over the years through such programs as providing children free textbooks, making private high schools tuition-free and instituting free lunches.