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Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda (graduated from School of Political Science and Economics) gives lecture at Okuma Auditorium Candid discussion in front of 1,100 students

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda graduated from the Waseda University School of Political Science and Economics in 1980. He is 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.

Prime Minister Noda revealed how he first became aware of politics when he saw news on the assassination of Chairperson Inejiro Asanuma (graduated from School of Political Science and Economics) of the Socialist Party of Japan. Although Prime Minister Noda was only 3 years old at the time, he remembers thinking that "politicians risk their lives for what they believe." He also revealed that he entered Waseda University because of an admiration he gained towards the school after reading The Gate of Youth by Hiroyuki Itsuki (dropped out the School of Letters, Arts and Sciences I). "At that time, I was humble and didn't have high aspirations," recalled Prime Minister Noda of his youth. "I tried becoming a journalist with the intent of writing to correct politicians who only sought monetary gains. However, upon seeing a newspaper advertisement run by the first graduating class of The Matsushita Institute of Government and Management, I decided to act personally to correct politics. It was then that I formed my goal of becoming a political reformist."

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 independent spirit of Waseda. I hope that you will all exhibit the Waseda spirit of carving out a road with your own two hands."

As is tradition, the event closed with the singing of Alma Mater. Prime Minister Noda left the auditorium amidst a chorus of Miyako-no-Seihoku (Northwest of City) led by the Cheering Club.