Tokyo Governor Election April 10 posts “expel the barbarians, Japan for the Japanese” openly xenophobic candidate


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Hi Blog. Let’s now start looking at some aspects of what appears to be a Post 3-11 Backlash against NJ. Let’s start with the Tokyo Governor’s Election, due April 10.

We already have one overtly racist incumbent, Ishihara Shintaro, whom I’ve heard is alas the favorite to win, again. But also on the bill is this noticeably nasty candidate Furukawa Keigo, who advocates by his very slogan the expulsion of foreigners from his jurisdictions (pedants might counter that he’s only referring to Chinese and Koreans, but a) that doesn’t make it any better, and b) you think he’s only stopping there?).

Here’s Furukawa’s public campaign announcement, put in every Tokyoite’s mailbox through public monies:

Furukawa’s Campaign Video here:古川圭吾

His profile page:

Platform (from Campaign Video page, translation courtesy MS):
Safeguard the capital. Safeguard Japan. Japan belongs to the Japanese people.

Now more than ever, we should resolutely expel the foreign barbarians

Eject foreigners from Tokyo.
(By foreigners, I mean mainly Chinese (the pejorative “Shinajin” used for this) and north and south Koreans. In other words, the foreigners who are thought to be causing harm to Japan.)

1. Change the law so that foreigners cannot purchase land in Tokyo-to.
2. Absolutely opposed to voting rights for foreigners!!
3. Ban the the use of officially recognized Japanese aliases used by so-called “Zainichi” Koreans.
4. Make conversion of pachinko shop premiums into cash illegal
5. Do not relocate the Tsukiji fish market
6. Permit opening of casinos in Toyosu
7. Continue with tuition-free high schooling. Abolish the school district system.
8. No need for Tokyo to host the Olympic Games
9. Merge Tokyo’s two subway corporations. Run the trains round the clock.
10. Revize Metropolitan Tokyo’s Ordinance No. 128 (law controlling public morals)
11. Provide more public housing
12. Revise construction safety regulations in Tokyo.

2.外国人参政権 絶対反対!!

COMMENT:  Although diverse elections will always contain crank candidates (after all, they have to represent their portion of the crank public), a question to be raised is what kind of people (and electoral system) would allow a campaign advocating the expulsion of taxpayers who have lived here for generations? Submitter MS says poignantly, “I’m royally pissed at having my tax money used on a document published and distributed by Met Tokyo that bears a prominent advertisement by a right-wing wacko candidate that advocates my expulsion.”

MS provides the mailing address of the office that oversees the gubernatorial election, FYI.

Secretariat to Election Administration Commission
(Senkyo Kanri Iinkai Jimukyoku)
39th Floor, Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building No. 1
8-1, Nishi Shinjuku 2-chome
Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 163-8001

This issue is admittedly a bit tangental; these campaign stumps were probably written and submitted before 3-11, so they are but riding sentiments that were already lying latent before they could surf the current wave of public opinion. How well Furukawa does on April 10 is quite possibly a bellwether of how sentiment is turning anti-NJ (or not) in the face of the “Fly-Jin” or “Bye-Jin” pejoratives.

More on how the J media has been bashing NJ as pseudo-deserters tomorrow. Arudou Debito

30 comments on “Tokyo Governor Election April 10 posts “expel the barbarians, Japan for the Japanese” openly xenophobic candidate

  • Mark in Yayoi says:

    I think this crank formed his opinions long before any overcautious embassies were removing their own countrymen from Japan.

    I remember seeing a poster for this person and thinking how uneducated he looks with this slogan: wasn’t the phrase 攘夷 (jōi; ‘expel the barbarians’) first used in the post-Perry years against westerners, and the character 夷 for the Emishi people of northern Japan a millennium before? As far as I know, 攘夷 has never referred to removing the “bad” foreigners that Mr. Furukawa actually wants to kick out, only to groups that the Yamato have long since eradicated or to groups that Furukawa carefully insists that he isn’t against.

    Perhaps the most disappointing thing about this man is that he was born in 1970. I could almost — almost — understand his attitudes if he had lived through the years of the Pacific War. I’m looking forward to seeing both him and Mr. Ishihara at the bottom of the election standings next week.

  • I am interested in hearing how shutting down the TUC shops next to practically every pachinko parlor around Tokyo is going to advance the interests of right-wing Japan. I thought pachinko was affiliated with the kick-the-foreigners crowd.

    — The image is that the pachinko industry is run by Koreans. I don’t know this for a fact, but that’s the image.

  • Innocent_Bystander says:

    Yes, #9 sounds good, Tom, but if you’re an NJ and Furukawa has his way, you might not be around much longer to ride the trains!

  • The guy’s a crank, although that in itself does not prevent him standing or even claiming funds, as it’s one of the paradoxes of liberal democracy. But its quite a leap to see this as part of a concerted campaign against NJ after the quake. There is a danger in imagining that a widespread ‘post-11 backlash’ is imminent before there is any stronger evidence to suggest so; something of an a priori fallacy, perhaps?

    — Or maybe you didn’t read my disclaimer carefully enough.

  • Dave Spectrometer says:

    Sounds like he is only half crazed.

    1. Change the law so that foreigners cannot purchase land in Tokyo-to.
    – Very Bad for the market and subjects Japan to reciprocal treatment elsewhere
    2. Absolutely opposed to voting rights for foreigners!!
    – Probably correct except possibly for local election only
    3. Ban the the use of officially recognized Japanese aliases used by so-called “Zainichi” Koreans.
    – Would make ore sense to not require Japanese citizens to have ‘Japanese Names’
    4. Make conversion of pachinko shop premiums into cash illegal
    – Would make gambling much easier to tax and regulate
    5. Do not relocate the Tsukiji fish market
    – Would be a bad long-term solution for a valuable piece of central Tokyo property
    6. Permit opening of casinos in Toyosu
    – Should legalize them somewhere within Tokyo and then properly regulate and tax them
    7. Continue with tuition-free high schooling. Abolish the school district system.
    – No comment other than maximizing education and lowering child rearing costs essential
    8. No need for Tokyo to host the Olympic Games
    – Not necessary, but would be a good promotional activity
    9. Merge Tokyo’s two subway corporations. Run the trains round the clock.
    Merger makes great sense. All night operations may not be economical
    10. Revize Metropolitan Tokyo’s Ordinance No. 128 (law controlling public morals)
    – Agree if he means making things less restrictive
    11. Provide more public housing
    – Bad idea unless it is in less central areas. Government needs to exit participation in the property market
    12. Revise construction safety regulations in Tokyo.
    – Need more info to understand what revisions he is suggesting

  • Hope he plans to keep around the nuke engineers from the USA and other countries that are currently helping protect Japan from further disaster. Might be too early to boot out the US military as well. I mean hey man, those cornflakes being flown in from the USA to feed hungry evacuees might be tainted.

    I suspect the pachinko issue is to try and divert funds from Korean pachinko parlor owners to Japanese casino owners. I’ve always thought the “cash for prize” window was illegal anyway. Perhaps it is just not enforced? Good luck shutting down pachinko in Japan.

    Did anybody notice the profile page for the first guy says “Perfect meat-eating male” for gender and “Imperial year 2,630, March” for birth date. Also, if you click on his profile pic, the second and third pics are the Imperial Japanese Navy flag and the Japan Imperial seal. The thought of this guy governing Tokyo is pretty scary.

  • The best way to handle fools like Furukawa is to make a joke of him. If you see him campaigning, laugh at him and ridicule him. Such people cannot bear not to be taken seriously.

  • jonholmes says:

    This Guy’s agenda is dependent on nuclear power; I don’t think the trains will even be running after 6pm come this summer, let alone all night.

    I would have thought 161000 “deserting” foreigners (what my boss called me on the day my Embassy told us to leave, by the way)leaving would have pacified these rightists, he must’ve written this rag of a manifesto pre 3/11, surely.

    The “foreigners” with no ties to Japan have left. The rightists got what they wanted, n’est pas? So they can now shut up.

    Harsh but fair!

  • I really ask all of you who live in Japan and understand 日本人の心better than the rest of us, how does Ishihara keep getting reelected? I am sure he does things for the city but do people find it fitting for the governor of Tokyo to use racial epithets?

    As far as foreigners buying up land in Japan…if Utada Hikaru can say it then I guess it is OK for right wing politicians? I follow her on Twitter and a few months back she made a remark about how she is concerned about foreigners buying up land. She wrote the remark in Japanese of course.

  • Ive seen this guy before, he has a very small following and is regarded as a nut, if its the same guy. I dont think we need worry about him. As to Ishihara, who knows. Funny how CNN never gets near him. I was hoping Ren would win the Tokyo election. This is a great time for Japan to change, they dont need the old guard around to take us back to the edo period. I dont have high expectations anything will change.

  • Okay, so one more thing… I wonder what Furukawa-baka would say to this little bit of news – “Korean pop stars Kim Hyun Joong and Jang Keun Suk donated 100 million won (US $98,000) and 10 million yen (US $122,230), respectively, to help Japan Earthquake and Tsunami relief.” I wonder how much Furukawa has donated?

  • The guy’s clearly crazy, but I would be interested to hear how you think the electoral system should exclude him. My feeling is that if a democracy is fair and worth it’s salt, it’ll let everyone participate and make a run for office, no matter how crazy. It’s just the price (literally, in tax money) of a legitimate election. Maybe I’m missing an angle here?

  • I think right wing nuts need guys like this in elections to be pacified. They get to go out there, blow off steam, lose the election and go home and plan for next time.
    Better posters than personal physical confrontations and outbursts of violence.
    This guy’s opinions need to be out in public to be discussed (and rejected, I think, except for #4 and 6-9). I welcome him to the public discourse.

    — If there is an actual discourse. Public debate during Japanese elections is actually to some degree stifled, especially between candidates. See here. What I’m worried about is how the expression of these ideas without them being properly debunked (through proper discourse) actually helps foment them through affirmation and apparent legitimization. We’re dealing with a society that doesn’t really, in my view, talk things through thoroughly in public. Anyway, we’ll see how many votes this creep gets.

  • 蜻蛉 Says:
    As far as foreigners buying up land in Japan…if Utada Hikaru can say it then I guess it is OK for right wing politicians? I follow her on Twitter and a few months back she made a remark about how she is concerned about foreigners buying up land. She wrote the remark in Japanese of course.

    Like a few commentators have opined on here, the really sad thing is that it is not a generational thing. If it were some 70 year old standing for election on such a platform or the above sentiment were being expressed by an uneducated country hick who had traveled no further than the next village, then you could understand such opinions, even if you might not condone them.
    Both examples, Furukawa and Utada, sadly are neither and to add irony to ignorance, if you confronted Utada with the hypocrisy of her position – she owns property in the USA (source. she would probably be totally bewildered with the accusations of hypocrisy and double standards.
    And to top it all with a goood healthy dose of cynicism, a sizeable number of Japanese could well empathize with Utada’s bewilderment.

    ‘What is yours is mine also. What is mine is mine alone.’

  • Just sent her a message on twitter calling her a hypocrite.
    Scipio is right about double standards.

  • Kirk Masden says:

    Thanks for this interesting information, Debito. I used the information you provided to do some searching and found this:

    The content is basically the same as what you quoted but the presentation is quite eye-popping.

  • All you who think it is sort of OK for a candidate in a Japanese election to call for expulsion of citizens of Chinese and Korean ancestry or nationality, here is a challenge.

    If British, publicly endorse this statement on this forum, where an employer or friend could see it.

    “I think it acceptable for a candidate in the London mayoral election to call for expulsion from Britain of all people of Indian or Pakistani descent.” Name, please, here.

    And if American
    “I think it acceptable for a candidate in the NY mayoral election to call for expulsion from the US of all people of Hispanic or African descent.” Name, please, here.

    Any of you dare?

  • Blinky Ishihara has been reelected in any case.
    Doesn’t reflect well on the people of Tokyo that they continue to reelect him.

    Lack of options I suppose, hell Higashikokubaru has a pretty sordid past.

  • Interesting if a US person would of complained of Utada buying US land, all hell would of broke loose… Ive noticed that some of these Japanese have a love/hate relationship with all things abroad, they want to get the best education, enjoy freedom of expression and exposure to things they cant get at home, but when you come to their land, youd better accept your position.

  • The American says:


    To be fair, I think she’s worried about the sovereignty of her nation. Japan is small, especially compared to China, Russia, and the U.S. I’m not going to comment on whether that fear is justifiable or not, but I did want to point out that she’s not just talking about America. Her comment is probably directed towards China.

    Japanese citizens might feel that their back are against the wall and they are worried about the future. I am not saying that her comment isn’t hypocritical.

  • Tokyo Gubernatorial Election results: Ishihara has a resounding win. Furukawa comes in seventh out of eleven, with over 6000 votes:

    2,615,120石原 慎太郎(78)
    いしはら しんたろう
    政党 無所
    推薦・支持 –
    新旧/当選回数 現 / 4回
    略歴 作家〈元〉衆院議員・運輸相・環境庁長官・参院議員▽一橋大法学部▽大田区田園調布1丁目

    1,690,669東国原 英夫(53)
    ひがしこくばる ひでお
    政党 無所
    推薦・支持 –
    新旧/当選回数 新 / –
    略歴 〈元〉宮崎県知事・芸能事務所代表・タレント▽早大政経学部中退▽渋谷区本町1丁目

    1,013,132渡辺 美樹(51)
    わたなべ みき
    政党 無所
    推薦・支持 –
    新旧/当選回数 新 / –
    略歴 学校法人理事長・医療法人理事長〈元〉ワタミ会長・日本経団連理事・神奈川県教育委員・教育再生会議有識者メンバー▽明大商学部▽新宿区西新宿7丁目

    623,913小池 晃(50)
    こいけ あきら
    政党 無所
    推薦・支持 【共産】
    新旧/当選回数 新 / –
    略歴 共産党政策委員長〈元〉参院議員・共産党参院議員団長・全日本民医連理事・東京民医連理事・代々木病院診療副部長▽東北大医学部▽品川区大井3丁目

    48,672ドクター・中松 (82)
    政党 無所
    推薦・支持 –
    新旧/当選回数 新 / –
    略歴 発明家〈元〉青森大上級客員教授・九州共立大特別客員教授▽東大工学部▽世田谷区下馬6丁目

    10,300谷山 雄二朗(38)
    たにやま ゆうじろう
    政党 無所
    推薦・支持 –
    新旧/当選回数 新 / –
    略歴 映画監督・俳優・映像プロデューサー・リポーター▽慶大経済学部▽港区南青山4丁目

    6,389古川 圭吾(41)
    ふるかわ けいご
    政党 無所
    推薦・支持 –
    新旧/当選回数 新 / –
    略歴 〈元〉介護関連会社長▽会津工高中退▽新宿区大京町

    5,475杉田 健(43)
    すぎた たけし
    政党 諸派
    推薦・支持 –
    新旧/当選回数 新 / –
    略歴 新しい日本代表幹事・社団法人職員▽大田区南雪谷3丁目

    4,598マック 赤坂(62)
    まっく あかさか
    政党 諸派
    推薦・支持 –
    新旧/当選回数 新 / –
    略歴 スマイル党総裁・スマイルセラピー協会長〈元〉貿易会社長・伊藤忠商事社員▽京大農学部▽港区赤坂2丁目

    3,793雄上 統(69)
    おがみ おさむ
    政党 諸派
    推薦・支持 –
    新旧/当選回数 新 / –
    略歴 東京維新の会代表・住職・作家〈元〉英語塾経営・出版社員▽慶大院文学研究科▽富山県南砺市井波

    3,278姫治 けんじ(59)
    ひめじ けんじ
    政党 諸派
    推薦・支持 –
    新旧/当選回数 新 / –
    略歴 平和党核兵器廃絶平和運動代表・建物管理業▽江戸川区東葛西1丁目

  • Mark in Yayoi says:

    @Kirk Masden – Noticed this on Furukawa’s platform:


    If someone is a Zainichi Korean, how can they have a jūminhyō?

    Am I making a mistake, or is this person who’s running for mayor of Japan’s largest city primarily on an anti-foreign platform, and proposing changes in how such people are governed, ignorant of the actual legal status of non-nationals?

  • My quick (poor) math says about 6 million people voted in this election. Anyone know the number of total eligible voters in Tokyo? 6m seems like it is probably right around 50% but I am guessing..

  • Disappointing to see that Furukawa was some way from the bottom of the final standings, though at least he only got about 0.1% of the vote.

    And it is also disappointing to see someone with such international experience (raised in NY, no less) maintaining a comment like Utada’s. Furukawa is explicable in a way, given that he is unlikely to have had much foreign contact. What’s interesting is that some people are capable of similar views despite living abroad for a long time. I note that students occasionally tell me that they want to go abroad to see how foreigners view Japan. (100+ retweets from an account with over half a million followers, unfortunately)

  • So Furukawa had only about 2000 votes, less than 0,01%; good news.

    @Mark in Yayoi:
    You’re right, the guy’s an ignorant that doesn’t even know his hated foreigners can’t have juminhyo.

  • Oh no, the reelection of Mr. Blinky Blinkered did sour an otherwise very pleasant Sunday evening.

    On the other hand, our very nasty young Mr. Furukawa did have one tiny (but to me- for what it’s worth- important) impact.

    When I played his video to my wife that I found on, she took one look and went out and decided to vote for the first time in a Tokyo election. And I must stress it was NOT for a conservative candidate. Thank you Debito!

  • I wish it came as a surprise, as a shock.
    Unfortunately, it is all too familiar.
    I wish I had the right to vote in Japan. But guess what, I have the right to vote in France and the Le Pen family is stronger than ever. The ideas of the extreme right have contaminated many other parties. The French too want to get rid of people who fought for us during the war and who we brought to France later on as cheap labour. Could these people really be where they are if the majority was really opposed to their ideas?

  • @John
    Fukukawa claims on his blog to have had significant “foreign contect” – several years on-and-off volunteering in Cambodia. I believe he was largely ignored at this election; Toyama Koichi would have received more votes had he run this time.

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