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Ryuhei Kawada: Liberal, Libertarian, or Right-Wing?

Your Party and Japan's urban populist reform movements

In response to a discussion about Emi's criticism of Japanese journalist Mika Tsutsumi's endorsement for xenophobic agenda:

Date: 12/06/2012

hi folks... i'm the blogger who wrote about tsutsumi's xenophobic position re citizenship statute. i also have a japanese blog (or two) where you can read tsutsumi's entire column on the topic. i recommend those of you who read japanese to read her own words and decide for yourselves.

Date: 12/07/2012

Baudrillard Says:

About Tsutumi's husband, Kawada Ryuhei, who Emi above says on her website is a rightwing Xenophobe.

Kawada is the HIV positive man who was one of those who sued the Gree Cross coroparation after a tainted blood products scandal. From Wikipedia,

"He has expressed a desire to work on issues of health, welfare, and labour. He has also indicated he will form a Green Party of Japan based on the Rainbow and Greens which supported his campaign. He belonged to Your Party in December 2009."

So Emi may be right, but how does his green politics tie in with that? Any evidence that he is a racist/fascist?

I don't think I said that Kawada was right-wing--I wrote that he (along with Yasuo Tanaka of New Party Nippon) joined with the right-wing xenophobes in his opposition to expanding citizenship rights to children of Japanese fathers and non-Japanese mothers.

In my view Kawada belongs to the tradition of urban populist reform movements in Japanese political scene, which includes Salarymen's New Party (1969-1992), Japan New Party (1992-1994), Tanaka's NPN (2005-), Kawada's Your Party (2009-), and of course Japan Restoration Party (2012-) which is at the center of attention in the current election cycle.

These political parties position themselves against the corporatist collusion between bureaucracy, big business, and organized labor that lasted for several decades after WWII, and may appear to have a "libertarian bent" as others have observed. But it is more about anti-establishment populism than about libertarian principles, which explains why these same politicians can sometimes endorse populist anti-immigration positions that seem incompatible with libertarianism.