Meanwhile back in Tokyo: Gov candidate Koike Yuriko allegedly spoke at anti-foreign hate group Zaitokukai in 2010


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Hi Blog. For those who haven’t been following Japanese politics (recently it’s been a pretty dismal science), there’s another race you might want to follow — that of the race for Tokyo Governorship on July 31, 2016. This matters, because Tokyo is 1) Japan’s largest and most cosmopolitan city, one of few with a still-growing population (as Japan’s countryside continues to depopulate and die) and even significant foreign resident enclaves; 2) a world city, cited by at least one international ranking system (Monocle, incidentally partially owned by a Japanese publisher) as the world’s “most livable city”; and 3) the city with the highest GDP (according to the Brookings Institution, even adjusted for PPP) in the world — in fact, according to the IMF, Tokyo alone is the ninth-largest economy in the world, larger even than Brazil, and easily over a third of Japan’s entire GDP (at 36%).

So who gets elected governor of this capital city area should matter to the world.  And it has, at least to the world’s third-largest economy.  Tokyo set the trend for electing far-right xenophobic governors by electing (several times) Ishihara “I wanted a war with China” Shintaro, who legitimized a xenophobic program within Tokyo environs to the point where bullying of foreigners became normalized throughout Japan (see also book “Embedded Racism” Ch. 7). And with that, far-right hate group Zaitokukai and similar groups became emboldened to hold anti-foreign rallies (some that advocated the “killing of all Koreans“) on a daily basis in recent years.  Not to mention that Tokyo is hosting the 2020 Olympics. Given the degree of centralization of, well, everything that matters in Japan in Tokyo, as Tokyo does, so does the rest of Japan.

That’s why the Tokyo Governorship has been a controversial seat this century.  First, Governor Ishihara used it as a bully pulpit to justify destabilizing the rest of Asia.  Then his hand-picked successor, former Vice-Governor and investigative writer Inose Naoki resigned after a payola scandal.  His successor, TV personality and pundit Masuzoe Yoichi similarly recently resigned after a payola scandal.  Now the seat has become a referendum of the two leading parties, the waxing and right-shifting Liberal Democratic Party of PM Abe Shinzo, and the waning leftist Democratic Party still trying to recapture some momentum.  And into the breach has dived LDP former cabinet member Koike Yuriko, who may even be a favorite to win.

But not so fast.  According to Zaitokukai, Koike spoke at their organization back in 2010.  Koike is known as a person who flip-flops between parties and positions often, but this is a bit too far for’s comfort.  Is this the type of person that Tokyoites want?  Dr. ARUDOU, Debito



そよ風 小池百合子先生講演会
<どうしたらいいの? 尖閣、北方領土、竹島で負け続ける日本>



日頃、疑問に思っていること等を自民党三役に就任された小池先生にぜひぶつけてみま しょう。

平成22年12月5日(日) 14:00~

あうるすぽっと (有楽町線東池袋駅直結)

講師:小池百合子 衆議院議員


そよ風 青山


在日特権を許さない市民の会 女性部(花紋)


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13 comments on “Meanwhile back in Tokyo: Gov candidate Koike Yuriko allegedly spoke at anti-foreign hate group Zaitokukai in 2010

  • I was in Machida last Saturday and I noticed the posters are up for four of the candidates.
    Of course they were for Koike, Torigoe, and the LDP one.
    The fourth one I do not know but his poster had a couple anti-foreigner and anti-Korean slogans on it. Does anyone in Tokyo know his name or the party he represents?

    — Yes, that would probably be Sakurai Makoto, former leader of the Zaitokukai, and although he is officially running as “unaffiliated” he is no doubt sponsored by the Zaitokukai. I’ll get to that in my next blog entry.

  • Hello Dr. Debito,

    You are inaccurate in your statement about Monocle. It has a partnership with the Nikkei and a minority investment by them ( The owner is a Tyler Brule (a Canadian living in London). Sam

    — Thanks Sam. Upon rereading my source, I see that Nikkei has bought an undisclosed minority stake in Monocle. “Owned” is a bit misleading (as opposed to “inaccurate”), so my apologies. I have amended the blog post appropriately to note the partial ownership.

    That said, the point I made about buying in and exerting editorial control is still not inaccurate, and it would be naive to assume otherwise: Why else would the president and CEO of the Nikkei have said, “through this wide-reaching partnership, the Nikkei Group will be able to further boost its global reach“?

  • Kirk Masden says:

    The Japanese says “小池元防衛相に斬りこもう!” (Let’s cut into former Minister of Defense Koike). Later the little blurb solicits “harsh questions” for her. So, for all her faults, I don’t see how she can be accused of speaking for the organization on the basis of what is on the Zaitokukai’s page.

    — Fair enough. But the talk mentioned was sponsored (協賛) by Zaitokukai, meaning she accepted the invitation to speak AT what is now known as an officially-recognized hate group in Japan, seen as “a threat to law and order”. This should be known about. Koike knew what she was getting into. She should have declined the invitation.

    Anyway, thanks for the correction. I have made an amendment from “FOR the organization” to AT in the blog entry.

  • Masuda had said he was for giving foreigners with PR the right to vote but he changed his mind.
    Must have had opposition in Tokyo.

  • Jim Di Griz says:

    @ Sam & Dr. Debito #2

    Re; Monocle.

    As I have posted before, the ‘word’ in the media business in London is that Monocle received an investment from the Nikkei that equalled Monocles total estimated value; after all, why else would they be unwilling to discuss the actual amount, but protesting repeatedly that it was a ‘minority stake’. Methinks the lady doth protest too much (and provide no hard figures to back it up).

    Either way, why would Monocle (based in London) vote Tokyo ‘Most Liveable City’ two years in a row, without re-locating there?

    It’s just another vested interest scam to blind the masses.

  • Does anyone know if Koike is a member of そよ風, the right-wing hate group that hosted this speech? I see she’s a member of 日本会議, but nothing confirming or denying membership in そよ風. It’s a female-only group, and despite membership in 日本会議, which would presumably exclude women from politics, Koike is vocal about women’s involvement in politics. It makes sense she would be in そよ風, but I can’t find anything after a Google search.

    Granted, this speech was purely about politics–how the government should be handling the tiny “contested” islands nearby–rather than about minorities in Japan, but still, that two anti-minority right-wing hate groups were the primary supporters is alarming. I wish I could say politicians with these sorts of connections to racism would not be tolerated in other civilized nations, but look at Trump and the anti-immigration right-wing kooks who wanted Brexit… It’s disappointing.

  • Baudrillard says:

    @HJ,I wanted Brexit, it wasnt (just) about anti immigration; it was about sticking it to the corrupt UK and EU establishment. So said Nigel Farage.

    Thats a bit like saying Okinawan independence supporters are “anti mainland Japanese immigration” (a bit of a stretch but please dont generalize about Brexit, which was a democratic decision).

    I am disappointed in your dogmatic comment.

  • @ #8 Baudrillard

    It wasn’t dogmatic, it was ignorant. All I had heard from a British coworker was that it was a right-wing anti-immigration movement, and I accepted his story at face value without doing any real research of my own. I apologize for speaking on something I didn’t actually know. I’ll have to research the issue more before forming an opinion, as there’s clearly more than one side. Thank you for sharing your perspective.

  • Baudrillard says:

    HJ, apology accepted thank you. Although labelled as a right wing movement, anyone against “Corporatism” (largely invented by Mussolini) and the banks cannot be so easily labelled. Though I concede Farage has now sided with Trump.

    The EU has a massive influx of refugees and too many immigrants, Japan on the other hand, not enough. And the Japanese mistakenly point to the “anarchy” in the UK (ha!)/EU and use it as an excuse to refuse the sensible immigration they need.

    The Australian points based system might be a better way to go, its certainly more thought out than the Japanese version.

  • Jim di Griz says:

    @ Baudrillard #10

    Japan already tried the points based immigration system a couple of years back. They set the bar so high, there were virtually no applicants, and they scrapped the system.

  • Baudrillard says:

    Yes Jim 11, they set the bar too high-they should have a sensible points based system. The EU free movement (bad) example is just being used by Japanese xenophobes to stop any immigration at all.

  • Jim di Griz says:

    @ Baudrillard #12

    If all the Japanophiles can hold off for a couple of generations, the Japanese will go the way of the panda, and then the NJ can waltz straight in and do what they want!

    Play the long game!


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