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Influence of nationalist group will rise in Tokyo

Friday, April 28, 2017

Subject

A profile of the Nippon Kaigi.

Significance

Of the 90 parliamentarians who visited the controversial Yasukuni war shrine on April 21, most, if not all, were members of a right-wing nationalist group called Nippon Kaigi. Nearly all of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party cabinet colleagues since 2012 have been members. Abe himself is a ‘special adviser’ to the group. Key elements of the group's agenda are reverence for the emperor, reform of the Constitution, worship at the Yasukuni war shrine, patriotic education and deployment of Japan's defence forces overseas.

Impacts

  • Nippon Kaigi's growing influence suggests a long-term trend of greater friction with China and the Koreas.
  • The group's influence will hold back efforts to promote gender equality, immigration and 'Western-style' human rights.
  • Abe may be tempted to visit the Yasukuni shrine, hoping that the new administration in Washington will not penalise this.

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