Japan Restoration Party is a National Disgrace.

Nob Akimoto

Nob Akimoto

Nob Akimoto is a policy analyst and part-time dungeon master. When not talking endlessly about matters of public policy, he is a dungeon master on the NWN World of Avlis

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11 Responses

  1. Avatar Jesse Ewiak says:

    See, when your right-wing is crazy and your left-wing is incompetent, you can’t blame Japan for going back to the corrupt guys.Report

  2. Avatar NewDealer says:

    How is it that these guys keep getting elected? Especially in urban areas! Or are politics different in Japan and urban areas are more right-wing?

    I taught English in Japan for a year in Musashi-Kosugi and heard a fair bit of the noise from the right-wing propaganda trucks. All my students seemed sincerely embarrassed and apologetic when the propaganda trucks blared by. There was one Communist* student but the rest I think were fairly conventional politically.

    Do Japanese people just not vote in high numbers? Is it a Tammany Hall/Patronage type of thing? How do young people feel about these far-right wing guys?

    *Party membership and everything. I liked her. She was interesting. A psychologist, she worked at a domestic violence shelter.Report

    • Avatar Jesse Ewiak in reply to NewDealer says:

      Obviously, Nob can fill more in, but this is what I remember from various blog posts and articles I’ve read while I’ve been politically active.

      First, you have to remember, that in most of the rest of the Western world, conservative parties can do well in urban areas, because the conservative parties still focus on things that matter to urban voters and aren’t connected to social right-wingery that the American GOP is. The concept of an upper-middle-class person who is socially liberal, but fiscally conservative and worried about crime voting for a conservative isn’t entirely out of the question. In addition, many of the more left-leaning parties still have strength in rural areas due to long histories of helping farmers/rural areas with subsidies. Even though, in Japan, this is where the LDP is strongest, where actual machines still live and breathe in those rural areas.

      Second, from what I’ve read, Japanese politics is a lot more personality-based than even American politics. Since from what I understand, both Hashimoto and Ishihara were celeberties of a sort before they became politicians (I believe Ishihara was a celebrated literary author), so they won on charisma/populism, then stayed in office by creating a political machine. In addition, there is a split between the rural conservatism of the LDP as opposed to the more dynamic urban conservatism of folks like those mentioned above. Plus, you have to remember, Japan is an _old_ country, there’s lots of 50-80 year old men and women who may not totally agree with what he’s saying, but at least think he’s on the right track.

      Finally, there is massive patronage and machine politics on a scale that simply isn’t possible in the United States. For example, large parts of the left-leaning coalition that won a historic victory in ’09 were prior LDP members (the long-time PRI-style party that has dominated Japanese politics) that switched sides for a variety reasons. In addition, rural constituencies have a widely outsized effect. In fact, the lines used for the 2012 election in were declared so out of whack via malapportionment that several districts results were thrown out.Report

      • Avatar krogerfoot in reply to Jesse Ewiak says:

        “Japanese politics is a lot more personality-based than even American politics.”

        This is depressingly true. Hashimoto was a celebrity lawyer who parlayed his TV popularity into electoral office. He’s renowned for his bluntness and not being hesitant to get angry in public. I always found him to be a calculating showboat, but that’s me, Mr. Foreign Cynic. I’m amazed that he’s not sharp enough to avoid stepping on a rake like this, and it’ll be sad if the story dwindles away with no repercussions. Of course, Ishihara has said eye-popping things about us before, and he still hasn’t been run out of town.Report

      • Avatar NewDealer in reply to Jesse Ewiak says:

        “Second, from what I’ve read, Japanese politics is a lot more personality-based than even American politics.”

        Serious question: Is there any country where this is not true? I think this is something that people like to bash America for a lot but seems to exist in almost every country in the world especially representative democracies.Report

        • Nob Akimoto Nob Akimoto in reply to NewDealer says:

          There’s differences depending on the type of party system and discipline approach used.

          The fringe parties in Japan is much more personalities based, particularly in local politics, whereas national politics is substantially more party seniority and less charisma based.Report

        • Avatar krogerfoot in reply to NewDealer says:

          In addition, politics occupies remarkably little territory in Japanese society. I don’t have the relevant cites on hand, but I think voter participation is at American levels of lowness, but most Japanese come by this apathy honestly, by having little opinion on political issues. Trying to get a political discussion going in Japan is like asking Americans what English Premier League club they support, more of a non sequitur than a faux pas.

          Given this vacuum of political belief, name recognition carries the day in Japanese parliamentary campaigns. If you put a gun to my head and told me to start naming Japanese Diet Members, I’d have to include karate medalists, actors, comedians, wrestlers, and a numbers of sons/daughters of national political figures. So, in a way it’s a bit different from the few other countries I’m familiar with, in that the people who cast their votes for the novelty candidates don’t pretend to have any strong political beliefs or to put any thought into government otherwise.Report

          • Avatar LeeEsq in reply to krogerfoot says:

            I lived in Japan and this is largely correct from my impressions. A lot of Japanese simply don’t seem to care about politics the same way that citizens in other countries do. Politics plays a very small part in everyday life and culture. How many Japanese television shows or movies dealt directly with the political process? Very few if any. In most other democracies, the political thriller or procedural is an estabished genre.Report

  3. Avatar Kolohe says:

    Well, at least his not literally eating the hearts out of his political opponents.Report