An unpleasant air plagues after the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) decided on Mr. Abe as President and Mr. Hashimoto led the Nihon-Ishin-no-kai as a political party. The LDP claims that it will confront the Hashimoto's party in the coming general elections, while conservative media have begun to criticize the latter, intending to reduce its popularity. Is it right to assume that 'the Ishin-no-kai would diminish soon'?
DANGEROUS RIGHTIST TREND WILL REMAIN
Origin of Hashimoto's Ideology
Newly elected LDP President Abe was once a nominee to run for general elections from the Ishin-no-kai. But after being elected as the party's top leader and then gripping power, he declared to rival the group in the general elections. As the LDP has rapidly discarded enthusiasm to appreciate the Hashimoto's party, mass media have changed attitudes, reporting about it with criticisms.
A relation, however, of Mr. Suga Yoshihide, LDP's Vice Secretary General and a faithful follower of Abe, with Hashimoto is very close. Abe himself publicly tells about necessity to take advantage of Ishin-no-kai in amending Constitution.
Political regroupings will go on in a complex way, dragging Ishin-no-kai, the LDP and the ruling Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), especially ardent supporters to rewrite the constitution in the party, until the Diet is dissolved and subsequent general elections are held. But it is unlikely that the Ishin-no-kai itself may be stronger.
The Hashimoto's party has an out-of-date statute: the rights to approve candidates and to nominate major executive members belong to Representative, rules made fun of as absurd even by conservative groups. The organization totally lacks a viewpoint of gender. But it is not right to assume that 'it will go deadlocked'.
Important points to raise here are lingering economic and social crisis that could yield 'something like Hashimoto' and regression and split of leftist forces and Constitution supporters which should respond to expectations of people in agony for survival. Unless this situation is changed, another Hashimoto(s) will emerge, which will undermine democracy and destroy the human rights, lives, environment and peace.
Stronger Rightist Trend among Advocates of Constitution Amendment
As for experiences in Germany before the World War II, socialist forces had won strong influences, in which the Depression was on the brink to link with an immediate revolutionary crisis. Under these circumstances Nazis opened a way to grow up, taking advantage of fears of bankrupted middle-class people. The newly emerged force destroyed the socialist organizations with violence, building up a fascist regime from below.
Meanwhile in Japan, the extremist-fascist group which provoked the 2-26 (a coup-d'etat on February 26 in 1936) as well as supporters of the Imperial ideology with anti-communism in the military was suppressed by the autocratic government. Weak, vulnerable labor parties and trade unions were swallowed up and obliged to follow the government. Thus in Japan the despotic regime was built up from above, with no necessity of nurturing a political force like Nazis.
Today historical conditions are different and fascism is not supposed to come. But a critical moment is certainly approaching when Constitution may be revised. Supporters of Constitution opposing neo-liberal policies in the parliament are fewer, if compared with the number of labor MPs seen in the Diet in the 1930s.
For this reason, forces in favor of Hashimoto may be utilized in order to crack down labor unions and Constitution-supporters in the local assemblies, but it is unlikely that they themselves should take power, like Nazis, and be a major player to compile new constitution.
Before the WWII the ruling class of Japan established a totalitarian rule after using up the faction of Imperial-Anticommunist Ideology supporters. Today the ruling elite use the Ishin-no-kai to manipulate advocates of Constitution amendment to go further right.
Under these conditions a task must be achieved with urgency to organize political forces to oppose the trend. The New Socialist Party has concluded an election agreement with Social-Democratic Party to share the objective to cope with neo-liberalism. Right struggles are tested to materialize the pact.
October 16, 2012