Why Japan leans to the Political Right?

Since: January 30, 2013

Table of Contents


The 46th general election in Japan on 16th December, 2012 resulted in a great victory of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), and Shinzo Abe, the leader of the LDP, was appointed to the Prime Minister of Japan on 26th December, 2012. Soon after the election, foreign media began to point out that Japan leaned to the political right because the LDP leader was believed to be a person of the ultraconservatism in Japan. In fact, the reason of the victory of the LDP is not the political right position of the party. The LDP won the election because the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) extremely lost its credit. Although the result of the election does not necessarily reflect the ideological movement of the Japanese people between the left and right, it can be said that there is a tendency that more and more people moves to political right recently.

Foreign media say that the Japanese people become nationalists because of the dropping of the economic power in the world. Maybe the lowering of the international status is one of the reasons of the recent political change. However, the real reason of the movement to the political right is not such temporary changes of the economic situation.

There is a fundamental change in understandings of the world history, which results in the change of the political position of Japanese people. With the explosive growth of the internet, people get to know the truth of the history. Before the internet era, people needed to buy expensive books to know the history. The left wing people read only the books and articles written by the left wing people while the right wing people did the same way. Most people were not interested in the detail of the Asian history about politics, economics, battles, and wars. They just thought that Japan did very bad things to Asian countries as written in the school textbooks and were not interested in the shame history of them. The internet has changed this situation. People can access information on the modern history including minor stories easily. Sometimes, they discover the historic topics that change their preconceptions. Foreign countries such as Korea and China insist that Japan should learn the history. However, the more the Japanese people know the truth of the history, the more they become the political right.

This document describes what kind of historic stories attract so called right wing people in Japan. I will focus on the true history only, although there are many unreliable stories which attract the right wing people.