|General Secretary||Yuzo Kabashima|
|Honorary Chairman||Toru Miyoshi|
|Key people||Iwao Ando|
|Founded||30 May 1997|
|Merger of||Nihon wo mamoru Kokumin Kaigi|
Nihon wo mamoru Kai
|Headquarters||Vort Aobadai II, Aobadai, Meguro, Tokyo|
|Political position||Right-wing to far-right|
|Affiliations||Nippon Kaigi National Lawmakers Friendship Association|
|This article is part of a series on the|
|Liberal Democratic Party |
The Nippon Kaigi (日本会議, "Japan Conference") is Japan’s largest ultra-conservative right-wing to far-right non-governmental organization and lobby. It was established in 1997 and has approximately 38,000 to 40,000 members as of 2020. The group influences the legislative and executive branches of the Japanese government through its affiliates. Former prime minister Shinzo Abe, an LDP politician, served as a special advisor to the group's parliamentary league. 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, the organization has faced difficulty attracting young people.
The number of National Diet members associated with the group's parliamentary league was 252 in 2013, peaking at 289 in 2014. As of 2022 the number stands at 206, out of 710 Diet seats.
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, especially Article 9 which forbids the maintenance of a standing army. The group also aims to promote patriotic education, support official visits to Yasukuni Shrine, and promote a nationalist interpretation of State Shinto.
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."
Nippon Kaigi has described six official goals of the organization as:
- "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.
- "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.
- "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.
- "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.
- "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.
- "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".[Note 1] 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" during World War II. Nippon Kaigi is opposed to feminism, LGBT rights, and the 1999 Gender Equality Law.
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.
The founding President was Koichi Tsukamoto, the founder of Japanese clothier Wacoal. 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.
The organisation 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.
Organisation and membership
Nippon Kaigi claims 40,000 individual members, 47 prefectural chapters, and about 230 local chapters. 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. 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. Its former chairman, Toru Miyoshi, was the former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Japan.
After campaigning actively for LDP candidates in July 2016, Nippon Kaigi campaigned for constitutional revisionism in September 2016.
|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|
|2015||Tadae Takubo||2015–present||6–7 years|
Journalist Norimitsu Onishi says that the organization promotes a revival of the values of the Empire of Japan; Tamotsu Sugano, the author of the bestselling exposé on the group, Research on Nippon Kaigi (日本会議の研究) describes them as a movement democratic in method but intent on turning back sexual equality, restoring patriarchal values, and returning Japan to a pre-war constitution that is neither democratic nor modern,On 6 January 2017, sale of the book was banned by a district court for defamation pending removal of the offending portion; a revised digital edition continued to be sold. Sales resumed that March when the court allowed a revised edition with 36 characters deleted to appear.
Muneo Narusawa, the editor of Shūkan Kin'yōbi (Weekly Friday) says that, in parallel with historical revisionism, the organization often highlights historical facts that convey Japan as a victim such as with the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, when the Soviets declared war and invaded Manchuria or the North Korean abductions of Japanese citizens. Former education minister Hakubun Shimomura, the secretary general of the Discussion Group of Nippon Kaigi Diet Members (Nippon Kaigi kokkai giin kondankai, 日本会議国会議員懇談会), argues for patriotic education and opposes a "masochistic view of history".
- Historical negationism
- Historical revisionism
- Japanese militarism
- Japanese nationalism
- Japanese Society for History Textbook Reform
- Seicho-no-Ie (fundamental movement sect)
- Propaganda Due
- 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
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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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Arudou, Debito (31 July 2016). "For Abe, it will always be about the Constitution". The Japan Times. Retrieved 12 August 2022.
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Abe's key ultra-conservative supporter, Nippon Kaigi, or Japan Conference, was among the organizers Saturday.
- "Ultra-nationalist school linked to Japanese PM accused of hate speech". The Guardian. 8 July 2020. Retrieved 15 March 2017.
Abe and Kagoike, who has indicated he will resign as principal, both belong to an ultra-conservative lobby group whose members include more than a dozen cabinet ministers.
- "Tokyo's new governor defies more than glass ceiling". Deutsche Welle. 8 July 2020. Retrieved 2 August 2016.
In 2008, she made an unsuccessful run at the LDP's chairmanship. Following her defeat, she worked to build an internal party network and became involved in a revisionist group of lawmakers that serves as the mouthpiece of the ultraconservative Nippon Kaigi ("Japan Conference") movement.
- 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...
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- about Nippon Kaigi (Japanese)
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- 日本会議とは (in Japanese)
- "Japan's History Textbook Controversy – Social Movements and Governments in East Asia, 1982–2006" – Daiki Shibuichi – 4 March 2008 – ejcjs
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- .Pushed by conservatives, 19 assemblies pass statements urging constitutional revision Archived 29 October 2014 at the Wayback Machine Asahi Shimbun 1 August 2014
- "Abe’s reshuffle promotes right-wingers" (Korea Joongang Daily – 2014/09/05)
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- N. Onishi – New York Times, 17 December 2006, Japan Rightists Fan Fury Over North Korea Abductions
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Carrying the legacy of Japanese fascism, the LDP (and 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.
- Myles Carroll, ed. (2021). The Making of Modern Japan: Power, Crisis, and the Promise of Transformation. BRILL. 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, ...
- 日本会議 (Japan Conference) (in Japanese)
- United States Congressional Transcript in response to Nippon Kaigi
- Tawara Yoshifumi: What is the Aim of Nippon Kaigi, the Ultra-Right Organization that Supports Japan’s Abe Administration? Asia-Pacific Journal / Japan Focus, 1 November 2017.