Nippon Kaigi

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Japan Conference
General SecretaryYuzo Kabashima
AdvisersKoichiro Ishii
Michihisa Kitashirakawa
Naotake Takatsukasa
Key peopleIwao Ando
FounderKoichi Tsukamoto
Founded30 May 1997; 26 years ago (1997-05-30)
Merger ofNihon wo mamoru Kokumin Kaigi
Nihon wo mamoru Kai
HeadquartersVort Aobadai II, Aobadai, Meguro, Tokyo
Membershipc. 38,000 – 40,000 (2020 est.)[1]
Political positionFar-right[20]
AffiliationsNippon Kaigi National Lawmakers Friendship Association
Colours  Black
Website Edit this at Wikidata

Nippon Kaigi (日本会議, lit.'Japan Conference')[21] is Japan's largest ultraconservative[22] and ultranationalist far-right[23] non-governmental organization and lobbying group.[24] It was established in 1997 and has approximately 38,000 to 40,000 members as of 2020.[29]

The group has significant influence in Japanese politics. In October 2014, 289 of the 480 Japanese National Diet members were part of the group. Many ministers and a few prime ministers, including current prime minister Fumio Kishida,[30] Tarō Asō, Shinzō Abe, and Yoshihide Suga, were members.[31]

The organization describes its aims as to "change the postwar national consciousness based on the Tokyo Tribunal's view of history as a fundamental problem" and to revise Japan's current Constitution,[32] especially Article 9 which forbids the maintenance of a standing army.[33] The group also aims to promote patriotic education, support official visits to Yasukuni Shrine and promote a nationalist interpretation of State Shinto.[34][35][36][37] It also rejects that comfort women, recruited by Japan during World War II, were forced to work.

In the words of Hideaki Kase, an influential member of Nippon Kaigi, "We are dedicated to our conservative cause. We are monarchists. We are for revising the constitution. We are for the glory of the nation."[38]


Nippon Kaigi has described six official goals of the organization as:[39]

  1. "A beautiful traditional sovereignty for Japan's future" (美しい伝統の国柄を明日の日本へ): Fostering a sense of Japanese unity and social stability, based around the Imperial Household and shared history, culture, and traditions of the Japanese people.
  2. "A new constitution appropriate for the new era" (新しい時代にふさわしい新憲法を): Restoring national defense rights, rectifying the imbalance of rights and obligations, strengthening the emphasis on the family system, and loosening the separation of religion and state.
  3. "Politics that protect the state's reputation and the people's lives" (国の名誉と国民の命を守る政治を): Addressing the loss of public interest in politics and government by taking a more aggressive stance in historical debates and crisis management.
  4. "Creating education that fosters a sense of Japanese identity" (日本の感性をはぐくむ教育の創造を): Addressing various problems arising in the Japanese educational system (bullying, prostitution, etc.) and instituting respect for the national flag and anthem of Japan, and for national history, culture, and traditions.
  5. "Contributing to world peace by strengthening national security" (国の安全を高め世界への平和貢献を): Strengthening Japanese defense power in order to counterbalance China, North Korea, Russia, and other hostile powers, and remembering Japan's war dead.
  6. "Friendship with the world tied together by a spirit of co-existence and mutual prosperity" (共生共栄の心でむすぶ世界との友好を): Building friendly relations with foreign countries through social and cultural exchange programs.

Nippon Kaigi believes that "Japan should be applauded for liberating much of East Asia from Western colonial powers; that the 1946–1948 Tokyo War Crimes tribunals were illegitimate; and that killings by Imperial Japanese troops during the 1937 Nanjing Massacre were exaggerated or fabricated".[a][25][40][41] The group vigorously defends Japan's claim in its territorial dispute over the Senkaku Islands with China, and denies that Japan forced the comfort women into sexual slavery during World War II.[25] Nippon Kaigi is opposed to feminism, LGBT rights, and the 1999 Gender Equality Law.[33]


Nippon Kaigi was founded in 1997 through the merger of two groups whose agendas included constitutional revision:

  • Nihon wo mamoru Kokumin Kaigi (National Conference to Defend [or Protect] Japan, founded in 1981) included many veterans of Japan's Imperial Army and Navy, and published its own Constitutional reform draft in 1994. Its predecessor was Gengo Houseika Jitsugen Kokumin Kaigi (National Conference to Implement Regnal Year Legislation, founded in 1978).
  • Nihon wo mamoru Kai (Society for the Protection of Japan, founded in 1974), that comprised several Shinto and religious cults.[32][42][43]

Toshiro Mayuzumi, leader of the Nihon wo mamoru Kokumin Kaigi, was a pivotal figure in the merger, and was slated to become the first president of Nippon Kaigi, but he died of illness on April 10, 1997, shortly before the new organization's first meeting in May 1997.[44] The position of founding president fell to Koichi Tsukamoto, the founder of Japanese clothier Wacoal.[26] Yuzo Kabashima, the secretary general of Nippon Kaigi, established a sister organization Nihon Seinen Kyogikai in 1977, which is headquartered in the same building as Nippon Kaigi and acts as the organization's secretariat.[45]

The organization saw remarkably swift success in establishing strong connections among the establishment and in passing legislation that was congruent with the group's aims. In 1999, the Diet at last formally recognised Kimigayo as Japan's national anthem and the Hi no Maru as Japan's national flag. After the legislation passed, ensuing years saw the Ministry of Education and prefectural educational committees such as those of Tokyo governor Shintaro Ishihara issue guidelines forcing school teachers to adhere to specific procedures concerning these national symbols in the educational context.[46]

Organization and membership[edit]

Nippon Kaigi claims 40,000 individual members, 47 prefectural chapters, and about 230 local chapters.[47] The organization's website lists the members depending on their seniority in the organization headed by a President seconded by Vice Presidents and a pool of "advisors", including Shinto priests leading key shrines, some of them belonging to the Imperial family.

Following the 2014 reshuffle, 15 of the 18 of Third Abe Cabinet members, including the Prime Minister himself (as 'special adviser'), were members of Nippon Kaigi.[31] As of October 2014, the group claimed 289 of the 480 Japanese National Diet members. Among the members, former members, and affiliated are countless lawmakers, many ministers and a few prime ministers including Tarō Asō, Shinzō Abe, and Yoshihide Suga. Abe's brother Nobuo Kishi is also a member of the Nippon Kaigi group in the Diet.[31] Its former chairman, Toru Miyoshi, was the former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Japan.[25]

After campaigning actively for Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) candidates in July 2016, Nippon Kaigi campaigned for constitutional revision in September 2016.[48]


List of presidents
Year Name Period Time in office
1997 Koichi Tsukamoto 1997–1998 1 year
1998 Kosaku Inaba 1998–2001 3 years
2001 Toru Miyoshi 2001–2015 14 years
(honorary president)
2015 Tadae Takubo [ja] 2015–2024 9 years

After Takubo died, president is vacant.


Journalist Norimitsu Onishi says that the organization promotes a revival of the values of the Empire of Japan.[49] Tamotsu Sugano, the author of the bestselling exposé on the group, Research on Nippon Kaigi (日本会議の研究), describes it as a movement democratic in method but intent on examining sex ''equality'', restoring patriarchal/family values and returning Japan to a pre-war constitution that is neither democratic nor modern.[50] On 6 January 2017, sale of the book was banned by a district court for defamation,[51][52] pending removal of the offending portion; a revised digital edition continued to be sold.[53] Sales resumed that March when the court allowed a revised edition with 36 characters deleted to appear.[54]

Muneo Narusawa, the editor of Friday Weekly (週刊金曜日, Shūkan Kin'yōbi), says that, in parallel with historical negationism, the organization often highlights historical facts that portray Japan as a victim, such as with the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Soviet declaration of war and invasion of Manchuria, and the North Korean abductions of Japanese citizens. Former education minister Hakubun Shimomura, the secretary general of the Discussion Group of Nippon Kaigi Diet Members (日本会議国会議員懇談会, Nippon Kaigi Kokkai Giin Kondankai), argues for patriotic education and opposes a "masochistic view of history".[55][56]

The Hankyoreh, a liberal newspaper in South Korea, denounced right-wing nationalism led by Shinzo Abe and Nippon Kaigi as "anti-Korean nationalism" in its English column.[57] Gabriel Rodriguez, in Jacobin, an American left-wing magazine, wrote the LDP and Nippon Kaigi carry the legacy of Japanese fascism.[58]

See also[edit]



  • Shibuichi Daiki; "Japan Conference (Nippon Kaigi): an Elusive Conglomerate"; East Asia, Vol. 34 (2017), Nr. 3, S. 1–18
  • Tawara Yoshifumi; "What is the Aim of Nippon Kaigi, the Ultra-Right Organization that Supports Japan's Abe Administration?"; Japan Focus, Volume 15 (2017), Issue 21, Number 1 (Volltext)
  • Tawara Yoshifumi; 日本会議の全貌: 知られざる巨大組織の実態 [Outlook of Nippon Kaigi: Actual Situation of Unknown Big Organization]; T. 2016 (Kadensha); ISBN 9784763407818
  • Yamaguchi Tomomi; in: Shūkan Kin'yōbi, Narusawa Mueno ed., 日本会議と神社本庁[Nippon Kaigi and Association of Shinto Shrines]Tokyo 2016 (Kin'yōbi); ISBN 9784865720105
  1. ^ a b Wingfield-Hayes, Rupert (15 August 2020). "VJ Day: A WW2 hero and a reckoning with Japan's past". BBC News. Retrieved 7 September 2021.
  2. ^ "In rare move, court suspends publication of best-seller on Abe-linked conservative lobby group". The Japan Times. Kyodo. 7 January 2017. Retrieved 5 June 2020. A Tokyo court has ordered a publisher to suspend publication of a best-selling nonfiction book detailing links between the conservative Japan Conference (Nippon Kaigi) lobby and a religious group, saying it contains defamatory information.
  3. ^ Newsham, Grant (19 July 2016). "Japan's conservative Nippon Kaigi lobby: Worth worrying about?". Asia Times. Tokyo. Retrieved 5 June 2020. TOKYO–The recent spate of western media articles on Nippon Kaigi – a conservative Japanese lobbying group (and somewhat akin to a "Political Action Committee" in America) associated with Prime Minister Abe — suggests Japan is heading for a police state, and soon afterwards will be looking overseas for somewhere to invade.
  4. ^ White, Stanley; Kajimoto, Tetsushi (12 March 2018). "Japan PM, finance minister under fire over suspected cover-up of cronyism". Reuters. Tokyo. Retrieved 5 June 2020. Also removed was a reference to ties by Abe and Aso to a conservative lobby group, Nippon Kaigi.
  5. ^ Fitzpatrick, Michael; Segawa, Makiko. "Shinzo Abe's killing brings to light Japan's unseen world of shadowy cults, healers and religious lobbyists". i news. Retrieved 17 September 2022.
  6. ^ Mark, Craig (6 September 2021). "Who will replace Yoshihide Suga as Japan's prime minister? Here's a rundown of the candidates". The Conversation. Retrieved 12 August 2022. She is a member of the ultranationalist Nippon Kaigi organisation, which aims to restore the emperor to divine status, keep women at home, prioritise public order over civil liberties and rebuild Japan's armed forces.
  7. ^ Steinbock, Dan (15 January 2019). "Japan's "Comfort Women": Asian Protests and Imperial Japan's Sexual Slavery". Foreign Policy Journal. Retrieved 12 August 2022. He belongs to the ultranationalist Nippon Kaigi, which seeks to re-militarize Japan and to revive Imperial Japan and which, among other things, vehemently denies Japan's "comfort women" history during World War II.
  8. ^ "The Conversation: Assassination of Shinzo Abe leaves Japan reeling". New Zealand Herald. 10 July 2022. Retrieved 17 September 2022.
  9. ^ Arudou, Debito (31 July 2016). "For Abe, it will always be about the Constitution". The Japan Times. Retrieved 12 August 2022.
  10. ^ [6][7][8][9]
  11. ^ Yamaguchi, Tomomi (2018). "Revisionism, Ultranationalism, Sexism: Relations Between the Far Right and the Establishment Over the 'Comfort Women' Issue". Social Science Japan Journal. 21 (2): 193–212. doi:10.1093/ssjj/jyy014. Retrieved 7 September 2021.
  12. ^ Larsson, Ernils (3 December 2014). "Abe's cabinet reshuffle reflects growing influence of the religious right". East Asia Forum. Retrieved 7 September 2021.
  13. ^ Myles Carroll, ed. (2021). The Making of Modern Japan: Power, Crisis, and the Promise of Transformation. Brill Publishers. p. 205. ISBN 9789004466531. ... high degree of grassroots support from a number of nationalist and militaristic social groups such as the War Bereaved Association and Nippon Kaigi, ...
  14. ^ Sohn, Yul; Pempel, T. J., eds. (2018). Japan and Asia's Contested Order: The Interplay of Security, Economics and Identity. Springer Science+Business Media. p. 148. ISBN 9789811302565 – via Google Books. the reactionary group Nippon Kaigi (Japan Conference)—has been waging war over its shared past with China and South Korea on battlegrounds ranging from Yasukuni Shrine to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
  15. ^ "Could Japan soon have a female leader? Sanae Takaichi emerges as a contender". The Japan Times. 5 September 2021. Retrieved 28 November 2021. Both have served as members of a nonpartisan group of lawmakers supporting far-right organization Japan Conference (Nippon Kaigi).
  16. ^ Steinbock, Dan (8 June 2021). "Fruity Indo-Pacific Politics: Or How Kishi Met Lorenzana – Analysis". Eurasia Review. Retrieved 17 September 2022.
  17. ^ Yoshio Sugimoto, ed. (2020). An Introduction to Japanese Society. Cambridge University Press. p. 242. ISBN 9781108724746. ... Nippon Kaigi Parts of the Japanese establishment have ties with a large far-right voluntary organization, Nippon Kaigi (Japan Conference), whose ranks include grassroots members across the nation as well as national and local ...
  18. ^ Michael W. Apple, ed. (2009). Global Crises, Social Justice, and Education. Routledge. p. 69. ISBN 9781135172787. In 1997 nationalist intellectuals, politicians and religious leaders formed the largest far-right advocacy group, Japan Conference (Nippon kaigi), formed as a result of the merger between the two ...
  19. ^ The Passenger, ed. (2020). The Passenger: Japan. Europa Editions. ISBN 9781609456429. Every year far-right nationalist groups – including Nippon Kaigi – private citizens and government officials visit the Yasukuni Shrine. Many wear uniforms or clothing linked to the Imperial Army and display the Japanese imperial flag.
  20. ^ [15][16][17][18][19]
  21. ^ a b c "Right side up". The Economist. 4 June 2015.
  22. ^
  23. ^ a b Yoshio Sugimoto, ed. (2020). An Introduction to Japanese Society. Cambridge University Press. p. 242. ISBN 9781108724746. Parts of the Japanese establishment have ties with a large far-right voluntary organization, Nippon Kaigi (Japan Conference), whose ranks include grassroots members across the nation as well as national and local politicians...
  24. ^ Nippon Kaigi: Empire, Contradiction and Japan's Future Archived 12 September 2018 at the Wayback Machine. Asia-Pacific Journal. Author – Sachie Mizohata. Published 1 November 2016. Retrieved 12 January 2020.
  25. ^ a b c d e Norihiro Kato (12 September 2014). "Tea Party Politics in Japan". New York Times. Archived from the original on 7 July 2019.
  26. ^ a b 国民運動の歩み « 日本会議(in Japanese)
  27. ^ Matthew Penney, Abe Cabinet – An Ideological Breakdown, The Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus. 28 January 2013
  28. ^ Salmon, Andrew (22 July 2021). "Japan's deep-right has more tongue than teeth". Asia Times. Retrieved 6 December 2021.
  29. ^ [1][21][25][26] The group influences the legislative and executive branches of the Japanese government through its affiliates.[25][27] Former prime minister Shinzo Abe, an LDP politician, served as a special advisor to the group's parliamentary league.[21] The group's membership includes grassroots activists as well as national and local politicians; with most of its active members being retired men over 60 years of age as the organization has faced difficulty attracting young people.[23][28]
  30. ^ Mark, Craig (29 September 2021). "Who is Fumio Kishida, Japan's new prime minister?". The Conversation. Retrieved 6 October 2023.
  31. ^ a b c "Abe's reshuffle promotes right-wingers" (Korea Joongang Daily – 2014/09/05)
  32. ^ a b "The Quest for Japan's New Constitution: An Analysis of Visions and Constitutional Reform Proposals 1980–2009" p.75 (Christian G. Winkler, Routledge Contemporary Japan Series, 2011)
  33. ^ a b "Politics and pitfalls of Japan Ethnography" – page 66 – Routledge (18 June 2009) – Edited by Jennifer Robertson
  34. ^ Mullins, Mark R. (2012). The Neo-Nationalist Response to the Aum Crisis, Japanese Journal of Religious Studies 39 (1), 110–112
  35. ^ about Nippon Kaigi (Japanese)
  36. ^ Rightist ministers make up 80% of Abe Cabinet, Japan Press Weekly – 5 January 2012
  37. ^ Daiki Shibuichi (2008). Japan's History Textbook Controversy, Electronic Journal of Contemporary Japanese Studies, Discussion Paper 4
  38. ^ "By Linda Sieg". 15 June 2006.[permanent dead link]
  39. ^ "日本会議がめざすもの « 日本会議". Retrieved 20 July 2016.(in Japanese)
  40. ^ "Japan-U.S. Relations: Issues for Congress" (PDF). Congressional Research Service. Retrieved 28 July 2021.
  41. ^ Chanlett-Avery, Emma; Cooper, William H.; Manyin, Mark E.; Rinehart, Ian E. (23 February 2014). "Japan–U.S. Relations: Issues for Congress" (PDF). Congressional Research Service. Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 4 July 2015.
  42. ^ 日本会議とは (in Japanese)
  43. ^ "Japan's History Textbook Controversy – Social Movements and Governments in East Asia, 1982–2006" – Daiki Shibuichi – 4 March 2008 – ejcjs
  44. ^ Katayama, Morihide (17 December 2018). "「日本会議」誕生の知られざるキーパーソン・黛敏郎" [The unknown key figure in the birth of the "Nippon Kaigi": Toshiro Mayuzumi]. Gentosha plus. Gentosha. Retrieved 23 August 2023.
  45. ^ Mizohata, Sachie (1 November 2016). "Nippon Kaigi: Empire, Contradiction, and Japan's Future". The Asia Pacific Journal: Japan Focus. Retrieved 30 November 2016.
  46. ^ Mullins, Mark R. (2012). "The Neo-Nationalist Response to the Aum Crisis: A Return of Civil Religion and Coercion in the Public Sphere?". Japanese Journal of Religious Studies. 39 (1): 99–125. ISSN 0304-1042. JSTOR 41495891.
  47. ^ .Pushed by conservatives, 19 assemblies pass statements urging constitutional revision Archived 29 October 2014 at the Wayback Machine Asahi Shimbun 1 August 2014
  48. ^ "PUSHING REVISION: Nippon Kaigi sent staffers to help struggling LDP candidates". The Asahi Shimbun. 5 September 2016. Archived from the original on 5 September 2016.
  49. ^ N. Onishi – New York Times, 17 December 2006, Japan Rightists Fan Fury Over North Korea Abductions
  50. ^ Tamotsu Sugano (1 May 2016). 日本会議の研究 [Research on Nippon Kaigi]. Fusosha. p. 297.
  51. ^ "「日本会議の研究」販売差し止め 地裁が扶桑社に命令" ["Research on Nippon Kaigi" banned of sales, District court ordered Fusosha]. Asahi Shimbun. 6 January 2017. Archived from the original on 20 November 2021. Retrieved 6 January 2017.
  52. ^ "In rare move, court suspends publication of best-seller on Abe-linked conservative lobby group". The Japan Times. 7 January 2017.
  53. ^ Shizuoka Shimbun staff (11 January 2017). "「日本会議の研究」修正版販売へ 差し止め決定受け扶桑社". Shizuoka Shimbun. Archived from the original on 5 August 2017. Retrieved 4 May 2017.
  54. ^ Shizuoka Shimbun staff (11 January 2017). "日本会議本、出版認める 東京地裁、判断を一転" [District court allowed sales to Fusosha]. Shizuoka Shimbun. Archived from the original on 5 August 2017. Retrieved 4 May 2017.
  55. ^ Muneo Narusawa, "Abe Shinzo: Japan's New Prime Minister a Far-Right Denier of History", The Asia-Pacific Journal, Vol 11, Issue 1, No. 1, 14 January 2013
  56. ^ The Economist of Britain on 5 January 2013. Cited in: William L. Brooks (2013), Will history again trip up Prime Minister Shinzo Abe? The Asahi Shimbun, 7 May 2013
  57. ^ "How Abe and the ruling class of Japan have stirred up anti-Korean nationalism". The Hankyoreh. 5 August 2019. Retrieved 29 September 2022.
  58. ^ "No, Japan Should Not Remilitarize". Jacobin magazine. 24 October 2021. Retrieved 28 November 2021. Carrying the legacy of Japanese fascism, the LDP (particularly Nippon Kaigi) is the knowing driver of both this growing racism and nationalism and Japan's swelling military fervor. The synthesis of remilitarization with reactionary politics is embodied in the party's longtime leader, Shinzō Abe, Japan's longest-serving prime minister, who retired only last year due to his declining health.

External links[edit]