Justin McCurry “Japan election: rightwing populists sweep vote in Osaka” https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/nov/01/japan-election-rightwing-populists-sweep-vote-in-osaka
A new governing coalition in which Ishin replaces Komeito as the LDP’s official parliamentary ally is unlikely, however. While Ishin shares the LDP’s enthusiasm for higher defence spending and a tougher line on China and North Korea, its opposition to income redistribution would be anathema to the prime minister, Fumio Kishida, who campaigned on promises of closing Japan’s wealth gap*1 .
Ishin’s emergence as a force in national elections could be an uncomfortable reminder to Kishida that his party is no longer the natural home of conservative voters.
Yoichiro Sato, a professor of international relations at Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University*2, said Ishin was “really sweeping the Osaka region. They’ve emerged as an important conservative bloc,” adding that its MPs would oppose Kishida’s “new capitalism” mission to boost incomes.
Yu Uchiyama, a politics professor at Tokyo University*3, did not rule out a political marriage of convenience between the ruling party and Ishin MPs who support changes to Japan’s “pacifist” constitution – an ideological obsession of Kishida’s mentor, the former prime minister Shinzo Abe.
“There is a lot of interest, especially in Asia, over whether Japan will try to revise its constitution, but by the look of it that won’t be possible with the (existing) ruling coalition,” Uchiyama said. “But the Japan Innovation party looks like it has captured a lot of seats, so we may be seeing some sort of constitution-related coalition, even if the possibility of constitutional revision remains low.
“The thing I’m most surprised by is how well Ishin has done,” said Kenneth McElwain*4, a political science professor at Tokyo University. “Yoshimura developed a major national profile, which I think has also served as a tailwind for the party overall.”
Despite triggering panic-buying of iodine gargle solution last year after wrongly claiming it was effective against coronavirus*5, the 44-year-old Yoshimura – whom one party colleague described as a “pop idol” – won praise for his leadership and communication skills during the height of the pandemic.
Yoshimura, who has 1.1 million followers on Twitter – more than the Tokyo governor, Yuriko Koike – subscribes to traditional rightwing causes such as constitutional reform and prime ministerial visits to Yasukuni, a controversial war shrine in Tokyo.
But he is not always an exact fit for the Japanese right’s ideological template, having campaigned for a ban on hate speech towards ethnic Koreans and other minorities in Osaka.
大阪、人口あたりのCOVIDによる死者数、全国１位なのですが。— Koichi Kawakami, 川上浩一 (@koichi_kawakami) 2021年10月31日
*1:この記事へのリンク。Justin McCurry “Japan's rising child poverty exposes true cost of two decades of economic decline” https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jan/17/japans-rising-child-poverty-exposes-truth-behind-two-decades-of-economic-decline
*5:See Hirokage Tabata and Koki Matsumoto “Osaka Gov. urges use of iodine gargle solution for COVID treatment, but experts wary” https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20200805/p2a/00m/0na/016000c
*6:See eg. https://sumita-m.hatenadiary.com/entry/2020/08/05/094951 https://sumita-m.hatenadiary.com/entry/2020/08/07/005446 https://sumita-m.hatenadiary.com/entry/2020/08/13/082431 https://sumita-m.hatenadiary.com/entry/2020/12/18/143526 https://sumita-m.hatenadiary.com/entry/2021/01/27/102035