politics

Populist Osaka mayor grooms candidates for national stage

29 Comments
By Linda Sieg

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29 Comments
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Japan is really confused about what "strong leadership" even means... no wonder there are no "strong leaders" in Japan.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Totally childish and immature equals backwards and dangerous!

0 ( +3 / -3 )

He doesn't need to be right wing @ss to shake up Japanese politics. How about pragmatic and progressive?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Sensible freedom loving people need to infiltrate and topple this org before its too late.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

a dangerous, right-wing populist who targets unpopular groups...... and bashes them to public applause.

Sounds like another world famous, hated, leader who didn't end well. I wonder if this guy has any original ideas, or if he's just cherry picking some easy issues?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

I really don't see how he's "populist" unless the article means people are over 50.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Change Japanese politics, eh? Bullying unpopular groups - does that remind anyone of another populist rightwing politician? Putting on the man of the people image and slinking away with your tail between your legs when moneyed interests disapprove. You don't need a school to teach Japanese politicians this.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Japan is 1 country it may need 1 party with 1 leader Banzai!......a winning formula in the past????

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

If it were not for his standpoint on education, his fascist politics in regards to people who wish to sport tattoos, and the fact that he and Ishihara seem to be grooming each other, I'd say this guy makes a lot of sense. Things do indeed need to be shaken up, but not shaken up and left to settle back the way they were before shaken.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Shocking, polarizing, punchy and surface slogans are great for entertainers; not exactly the best qualities to look for in politicians.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Mr. Hashimoto appears to be a progressive politician in comparison to the other politicians currently in office. Mr. Hashimoto's positions, while seeming to be radical, and dangerous, do offer the Japanese people with a challenge to the current stagnation.

Mr. Hashimoto should be looked upon as a formidable challenger who could motivate a core segment of the Japanese public to vote. History has demonstrated that radical change can occur when a small, but active minority of motivated individuals take the risk of supporting a leader who is viewed by the establishment as "radical". Change is both exciting and dangerous. Change is necessary.

Thank you very much.

Respectfully, Mark Kazuo Bradley

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Though I agree that Japan needs a drastic change in its political leadership, I worry about Hashimoto's nationalistic mindset. I wonder how he will cooperate with his neighbors and economic partners. If he pursues goals based purely on nationalist interests, he'll have a tough time trying to convince trading partners like China and the US to support him. If he depends solely on their markets for revenue and the Japanese market remains closed off to their exports, he'll bury the economy here even further.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Mr. Hashimoto appears to be a progressive politician in comparison to the other politicians currently in office. Mr. Hashimoto's positions, while seeming to be radical, and dangerous, do offer the Japanese people with a challenge to the current stagnation.

Yeah didnt they say that in the 30's and look where that radical style got them. This guy is a joke of a politician and seriously any fool who votes for him needs to seek mental health urgently as they appear to have a screw lose...

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

Heard of Hitler Youth - this is Hashimoto Youth, same thing with slightly modified agenda, becareful of what this self righteous goose trys to do.

It might be too late before people realise what he is up to.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

giddy-up, giddy-up, giddy-up horse-y

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The statement that reads: On the economic front, Hashimoto’s stance echoes that of the popular Junichiro Koizumi, who promoted privatization, competition and deregulation during his 2001-2006 stint as premier ... is scary. See where Japan's economy went under former LDP Prime Minister Koizumi's direction: downhill at high speed and into a deep ditch from which it has yet to get out of.

If Hashimoto does break into national politics big-time, he must not follow Koizumi's dictatorial run at governing.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

the boyish-faced Hashimoto

Boyish?!! I look at him and I see no charisma at all, let alone any youthful looks. If I were Japanese, I'd be a bit worried about where he is leading this country. Why does vocal and outspoken always equal right-wing in Japan?

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

we need this wonderful man as PM! Hashimoto for prime minister!!!!!!!! he is such a perfect stunning legend!

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

The Sarah Palin of Japanese politics perhaps? We all know how that story ended, it was not pretty at all.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

So he has 900 students studying to be candidates in elections and wants to abolish the upper house. And people aren't worried?

80% are dissatisfied with the state of the country, he is on TV anytime he wants, he wants the PM elected by popular vote, wants to fire teachers for not singing the anthem, or civil servants for having even non visible tattoos. And he was the tough guy fighting nuclear power until "lobbying from business groups".

And people aren't worried?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I'd be interested in hearing him articulate his policy ideas more clearly, and in a reasoned way. Japan does need a shake-up. PM Noda has no original, or economically sound ideas. The opposition parties, by supporting the consumption tax hike, failed to do its job and press Noda for better debt reduction strategies.

Toru Hashimoto deserves a chance to bring more dynamic, unconventional thinking to Japan's stogy political system.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Imagine a guy like Giuliani doing something like this?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This guy is more like hitler every day

1 ( +1 / -0 )

An input of new blood in the political system can only do good. If 30% of elected giin were NOT from hereditary aristocracy, Japan could get a functioning democracy and effective popular debate.

Heard of Hitler Youth

In Japan, they were Show Youth (Hiro Hito's boys) and they have been governing until the end of Showa era, as indicated in the name. Then they were replace by their sons or nephews. At 95%. That's them the problem. Noda would surely not dare dismissing 200 000 demonstrators as "noisy people" otherwise. The thing is Noda and his buddies are 100% sure to be reelected until their death, and then their heirs taking over. So they can quietly replug the nuke power bombs, refill Tepco's bank account, keep US bases in Okinawa, send SDF to war... whatever policy is opposed by a huge majority of citizens, they can still do it. They cheat the people that elect them, and they even cheat elections (in the rural areas). There is no political opposition in Japan at this point. Any attempt to create one is positive. Even if the new MPs are weirdos. If they can get elected, if they can pull the heirs out of their local thrones, that changes everything. The politicians become responsible in front of voters. Japan needs that.

So he has 900 students studying to be candidates in elections and wants to abolish the upper house. And people aren't worried?

No. Primo, because they are not going to get 70% of the seats overnight. The constitution reform is not going to be actually discussed at short or middle term. Segundo, don't extrapolate every witty line thrown by Hashimoto as a program that all those politicians are following. He has already forgotten what he said last week. Among 900, there are surely 30 great persons that can take the lead in a few years and they replace their mentor, bring projects less insane. I trust Hashimoto to train them at getting the foot in the door.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Yes, they are grooming for Osaka boy band.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Cover your tattoos, Hashimoto's coming to town!

If he is successful in the next national election, it will be fascinating to see how the Man tries to take this guy down. If they thought Ozawa was a hassle to get rid of, this guy literally is coming with baseball bats for the bureaucrats - it will be a hell of a scrap.

Although unfortunately, for those not already aware, this will basically be a young version of Ishihara.

Still, anything to get some meaningful politics aimed at bringing about actual positive change to Japan, rather than invested purely in institutional self preservation, as the LDP and DPJ have shown they are.

Peace

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Although unfortunately, for those not already aware, this will basically be a young version of Ishihara.

@Hikozaemon, you've got it right. The first thing, Hashimoto would do is to abolish the Constitution of Japan and rewrite his won version. Ishihara has already suggested his intention to do so and I have been very alermed. It will be very interesting to see how US, China and the rest of world would respond to the change.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

In Japan, they were Show Youth (Hiro Hito's boys) and they have been governing until the end of Showa era, as indicated in the name. Then they were replace by their sons or nephews. At 95%. That's them the problem.

@Cos, thanks for the post above. I always have a high regard to your posts. This is an eye opening post to me. Sounds like Japanese think political seat is a part of inheritance to offsprings, no?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

In my view he appears to be much more of a pure populist in the likes of Koizumi, rather than a right-winger in the likes of Ishihara. He has a great sense of what the public wants (or is likely to want) and simply seems to go right after it. He does not strike me as an individual built on specific political values and convictions (which separates him from Ishihara) but rather someone who always has the flexibility to change dramatically, depending on the needs of the people at the time. In that regard he is flexibly taking in the input fed by Taichi Sakaiya on the Osaka integration concept and the input fed by Ishihara on a rather rightist concept (probably more to do within the context of winning global competition vs China/S Korea) and will probably continue to seek for external input on priorities to be addressed. He does seem to be very passionate about restructuring the educational system in Japan and pushing (despite strong resistance) for the government to become more proactive and aggressive in ensuring the younger generation as a whole can better excel in the globally competitive environment (to the extent that the powers and influence of the existing education committee may be wiped out) but this I suspect is mainly influenced by the successful experience in his ambitious personal career where he has gone through a challenging childhood environment (many are probably aware of the issue with his father) and presumably worked very hard to enter Waseda Univ after a successful rugby career in highschool, pass through the bar exam and open up a successful law firm of his own. Beyond that I don't think he is attached to any specific way of thinking. Hence at this moment personally I am not overly worried about this guy and rather value his strong leadership capabilities and his good sense of the change required in this country.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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