Mr. Shigeharu Ayoama, a member of the Liberal Democratic Party and The Party for Japanese Kokoro, was elected to the House of Councillors of the National Diet of Japan in 2016. He currently serves on the Committee on Economy and Industry, the Committee on Budget, the Special Committee on North Korean Abduction Issue and Related Matters, and the Research Committee on Natural Resources and Energy. In 2002, he founded Japan’s Independent Institute, an independent research think tank that advises government and industry on matters related to national security and other issues. Mr. Shigeharu previously worked for the Mitsubishi Research Institute and Kyodo News. He graduated from Waseda University’s School of Political Science and Economics in 1979.