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I have been in the think tank business for more than a decade. My objective in joining the Canon Institute for Global Studies (CIGS), a Tokyo-based think tank founded in 2009, was to train and send ambitious and competent young men and women to the government’s decision-making body as political appointees.

The idea of introducing a political appointment system in Japan was conceived before I left government service in 2005. It was becoming ominously clear as early as 20 years ago that “the best and brightest” of fresh university graduates had found a new social contract and would no longer continue to join the government bureaucracy.

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