• Hiroshige FUJII

The Fashionable Political Movement

B4 Akira Kitagawa


From May 8th, one phrase has been making a buzz on Twitter in Japan. The phrase is #検察庁法改正法案に抗議します, which means “I oppose the revision of the public prosecutor’s office law.” Celebrities have tweeted their ideas with the hashtag, their fans or citizens have participated in it, and finally, it became a huge movement which is having 5milion tweets related to the topic. One analyst says that some of the tweets are spam; however, it is a fact that a huge number of “actual persons” have tweeted or influenced.

The bill was to revise the retiring age of the superintending prosecutor, and it has suspected that prime minister Abe is trying to pass the bill to not to make a superintending prosecutor retired for smothering his illegal acts. Whereas it is just suspect, there are many “simple” images on Twitter to “explain” the suspect to people who are not interested in politics. I would not propose the suspect or its political correctness, but I would say that it is NOT correct from the viewpoint of democracy. The citizen’s interest and participation in politics are necessary for democracy. However, these should not be temporal but uninterrupted.

In Japan, the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) has been taking power for 15years, but in 2009, The Democratic Party (DP) became dominant in the parliament of Japan for three years. According to Mr. Aso, who was the prime minister at the time, “years of distrust and dissatisfaction with the LDP were expressed in the election.” In fact, the cabinet could not show an effective approach to economic issues due to the financial crisis. Therefore, people prospected the political reform and were attracted by the well-dressed manifest by the DP. This election also attracted so much attention from citizens, including the population who do not show their interest or attention to the politics in their daily lives. However, the attention or the movement was ended up with a fashion. It is shown by the data of the voting rate. It became 10% higher than the previous national election. If the new cabinet had power for a long period by the assistance of national election, it would be a great awake of our nation, but the next voting rate of the election went back to the same level. What makes matters worse, the new cabinet had failed horribly, that even liberal newspapers criticized it. According to Professor Kobayashi, Chiba University, it was because DP’s political aim and manifest were unfeasible, and they were too idealist.

Most of the things in the universe are so complex that we can not understand or realize them easily. However, some specialists make things look neat and straightforward, the media or politicians. They simplify the issues by hiding backgrounds or real aims for economic or political benefits. We all have curiosity and seeking for better lives, but there is no enough time to search or think deeper. Therefore, people tend to feel like understanding everything and choosing the right choice.

Democracy is based on uninterrupted interest and participation in politics. We do not call the temporal political interest as a democracy, but ochlocracy. There is no right to the people doing “fashionable political movement,” which were influenced by simplified images, or explanation by the “professionals,” even when they see a real evil. We should have learned what will happen if they show the capricious interest. Even ancient Greeks know it.

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