How many votes could Japan's far right get?

I was cautious but I was generally optimistic about Japan's democracy. I did not think Japan's right is the majority. But I did not have the data to prove or disprove this.

In the Japan Focus interview with Tojo Hideaki's grand-daughter (H-T Michael Thurton), it talks about a revisionist organization in Japan and provides me with one crucial number
  • "...Kamiya Kotoku, who is also chairperson of a support organization for Seicho no Ie, [Truth of Life]; a Shinto cult established in 1930 and reformed in 1949, it campaigns to replace Japan’s postwar constitution. Boasting five million members worldwide, its supporters include ultra-right author Suzuki Kunio and other members of the revisionist right in Japan. "

I believe there is probably some exaggeration in the 5 million membership (and it is 'worldwide' number, though I could bet there aren't many outside Japan), true number may have to be discounted by 30-70%. On the other hand, there are also many other right wing organization whose membership do not neccessarily fully overlap with that of Kamiya Kotoru. So we could assume the party membership (if there were) at 4% of the population, what would this imply in terms of popular votes?

  • (Does anyone has the number of SDP (Social Democratic Party) member vs the number of votes it received in the recent parliament election? We can use that ratio as a proxy for a rough estimate)
  • Before I have the numbers in Japan. I would use Taiwan's data to proceed with my estimate
  • Total number of votes in 2005 general election in Japan was 67.781M (total population 130M, 52.1% voted)

So the ultra-right could get as much as 42.7/67.8=63% votes!!! However, the Taiwan voter turnout is higher than than of Japan (but only by 5 percentage points), and that the 5M membership is most likely exaggerated. But even if you discount this number by 70%, Japan's ultra-right could gather 20% votes! This explains why Koizumi keep going to Yasukuni. It also explains all these textbook, constitution bigotry that Japan's government supports. Such estimate (20-63%) is also consistent with various polls in Japan about Yasukuni visits.

Could Japan become another Nazi Germany? I hope not, but I am much less optimistic now. I just hope the 5M is a wildly exaggerated number.

This is why Korea and China are worried. After all, they would be the first to suffer. And they suffered a lot in the past.


Rest of the interview provides you a good view on the "logic" on these bigots, e.g.

  • About Tojo: "[Hitler's] different. He killed his own people – Jews. ...My grandfather didn’t kill his own people. "
  • About Unit 731: "I’ve seen the photos by China which look at ways of disinfecting against pests. I don’t know about it. "

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Look like Koizumi and the Iranian President are two of a kind. One of them worshipped class A war criminals who murdered millions of people in China and Korea. The other said the holocaust never happened. But the reactions of the US MSM towards the two presidents cannot be more different.