In his effort to return to prominence in national politics, Tokyo’s Ex-Governor, Shintaro Ishihara has attached himself to the energetic right-wing movement created by Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto. Despite some major differences in opinion these two populist and divisive politicians could end up being king-makers if the results of the December 16th election fail to give the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) an outright majority. The ruling Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) is deeply unpopular but the results of this election are by no means clear. Not least because the election is seemingly one of repeating faces and agendas. There is a been here before and done that before and it all makes no difference anyway feeling to this vote that barely raises any interest in the electorate. At all the rallies I’ve been to the crowds were small and passive, indeed many were bussed in activists. At Noda’s speech in Shibuya the secret service out-numbered the onlookers and the highlight was definitely Mac Akusaka, of the Japan Smile Party, heckling the PM from his Rolls Royce dressed as Santa.
This could of course lead to Ishihara getting his wish and moving into a dangerously powerful position in the heart of Japanese government. I wonder why people aren’t more interested in avoiding that.
More stock images of Shintaro Ishihara at my archive here: