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Thirty years ago, while a program director at NHK, Nobuo Ikeda oversaw a panel discussion on the merits of adopting a federated political system. Among the panelists were several influential politicians, including Morihiro Hosokawa, then-governor of Kumamoto Prefecture and later prime minister, and Takahiro Yokomichi, then-governor of Hokkaido and presently a member of the House of Representatives.

“Everybody was in favor of such a system,” Ikeda recalls to Shukan Bunshun (May 17). “But up to now, that debate has not progressed at all. Blame it on the bureaucrats in Kasumigaseki.”

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