In every era, politics is about words. In today’s global society and the unprecedented situation of the Corona disaster, the ability of politicians to communicate is becoming more and more important.
The LDP presidential election has reached its climax. Among the hotly contested candidates, who will be the true master of public speaking? We asked Ayako Sato, a professor at Hollywood Graduate University, who has coached many politicians, including former prime ministers, as a leading expert in performance psychology, to analyze their speeches.
“The first place goes to Taro Kono, 58, a member of the Diet. Speeches require three elements: ‘logic of argument,’ ‘credibility,’ and ‘ability to appeal to the emotions of the listeners. In the case of Japan, the third, ‘the ability to appeal to the emotions,’ is particularly important, and it is precisely this ability that Senator Kono excels in. Senator Kono speaks with his lower lip out and the corners of his mouth turned up, and this facial expression makes it easy for listeners to become familiar with him.
It is not a highly logical or credible way of speaking, but after all, he is currently the minister in charge of Corona. The fact that he is able to speak with specificity and confidence on matters that the people are most interested in is also highly appreciated.
Next in second place is Fumio Kishida (64), a member of the Diet, whose facial expression was poor during the presidential election a year ago, but has improved this time. I think he is making good use of the notebook in which he has been writing the voices of the people. Having served for a long time as Foreign Minister, his statements have always been highly credible.”
In third place was Sanae Takaichi, 60, a member of the Diet who is supported by former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, 66. Her speeches are logical, but she lacks the power to appeal to people’s emotions.
“She has changed from her expressionless face in her answers to the Diet to a smiling face in her press conferences. However, perhaps because she is not used to smiling, the movements of her eyes and mouth are slightly out of sync. As a result, her facial expression is unnatural and gives the impression of being ‘deliberate.
On the other hand, Ms. Seiko Noda (61) has a natural smile that appeals to the emotions to a certain extent, but she lacks logic and credibility. Overall, she is at the bottom of the list.
Will a good speaker become president? Will a good speaker become president, or will it be another political force that moves the vote? The election for the presidency will be held on September 29.
From “FRIDAY” October 1, 2021 issue
Photo by： Takeshi Kinugawa