The Japan News by The Yomiuri Shimbun

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Autumn Issue (Nov.)


A candid discussion in front of 1,100 students

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda gives lecture at Okuma Auditorium

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda graduated from the School of Political Science and Economics, Waseda University in 1980. Last September, he became the 7th graduate from Waseda University to be appointed as Prime Minister. On July 22nd, he gave a speech entitled "Candid Discussion with Prime Minister Noda" at Okuma Auditorium. In front of approximately 1,100 students, Prime Minister Noda addressed topics including his upbringing before entering the world of politics, his aspirations when he was a student, and his political beliefs.

Regarding current political issues, Prime Minister Noda discussed his central theme of "unified reform of social security and taxes." Specifically, he addressed the issues of national pensions, long-term care insurance and health insurance as Japan deals with a declining birthrate and aging population. "I intend to boldly take the necessary political action at the appropriate time," stated Prime Minister Noda with great conviction. "The biggest factor in failure is losing faith in one's self. As long as you don't give up, there will be no mistakes. I will remain persistent and overcome challenges one at a time."

Following his lecture, Prime Minister Noda answered questions from six students. He discussed forms for promoting scientific technology in Japan, foreign policy, and response to public distrust of politicians. When asked his future expectations towards Japanese people, Prime Minister Noda expressed his high expectations towards young students through the following answer: "Hope is something that you create yourself. I have high expectations for the Anti-elitist Philosophy of Waseda. I hope that you will all exhibit the Waseda spirit of carving out a road with your own two hands."