Leadership On the Edge

Japan’s Poltical Leaders Must Manage Expectations

It is a truism that political leaders need to manage expectations. In Japan, it should be the first item of concern.

Here’s an excerpt from a story in the Washington Post about Japan’s leaders and polls…

“In Tokyo the people of Japan love opinion polls that measure the popularity of their prime minister. The problem is, they almost never love the prime minister himself. The public calls him weak. The media grill him about his plummeting popularity. The prime minister, in turn, becomes increasingly aware of his tenuous support, making him weaker still, and of course even less popular. ‘He has to take on these issues and sell it to the public,’ said Gerry Curtis, an expert on Japanese politics at Columbia University. ‘Problem is, he has shown no skill in mobilizing public support. . . . If his [popularity] numbers break below 20 percent, he’ll be forced out.'”