I am in Japan this week, and everyone is talking about the upcoming national election. What new policies will it bring? How will it alter the policy-making process? What will it mean for the U.S.-Japan alliance?
The opposition party, the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), is expected to win, upsetting the Liberal Democratic Party's (LDP) nearly consistent grip on power since 1955. The strategist behind a lot of the DPJ's success is Ichiro Ozawa, who was previously a member of the LDP.
The latest issue (Aug. 17, 2009) of the Asahi Shimbun Weekly (AERA) spells out Ozawa's campaign secrets. Here are his top eight pointers for winning an election:
1. Small speeches in the countryside are more effective than large ones in the city.
2. Give small speeches at least 50 times a day.
3. These small speeches should be done in 1 to 5 minute stretches around local vicinities.
4. Longer (10 to 15 minute) speeches should include two personal failure stories.
5. When you bow, you should do so properly by keeping your legs straight.
6. When you receive a business card, examine it carefully (don't simply stick it in your pocket).
7. When you visit houses, you should always go in pairs (to avoid becoming lazy) and target 200 households per day.
8. If support is strong in a town, you should campaign hard there. If the support is weak, you should campaign less hard (as it warrants).
Good luck with your campaign!