Conservatives were promised right-wing policies, an army, a new Constitution and the confiscation of voting rights from non-ethnic Japanese people on Thursday as two prominent rightists launched a new political party.
Toshio Tamogami, a former chief of staff of the Air Self-Defense Force who has made revisionist remarks about Japanese history, and hawkish Lower House lawmaker Shingo Nishimura said their new party, Taiyo no To (Sunrise Party), will aim to rebuild Japan’s national pride.
The two founders comprise the party’s entire membership so far, but they said they will boost their ranks by the time of the next general election.
“Our goal is to reconstruct Japan as a country with pride,” Nishimura, 66, said during a news conference in Tokyo.
Former Tokyo Gov. Shintaro Ishihara, himself a prominent hard-line conservative, attended the event in an apparent show of support.
Nishimura heads the party while Tamogami serves as its secretary-general.
Nishimura, a former member of Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party), said the two will work together to establish a national army by writing a new Constitution. They also pledged to overhaul education and protect Japanese territory.
“These are the issues the people strongly desire,” Nishimura said.
The party plans to work closely with conservative Jisedai no To (Party for Future Generations), which boasts Ishihara as a senior adviser, with a view to forming a parliamentary coalition in the future.
“As you know, we can be a bit wild, in the past having made unconventional comments that surprised people,” Nishimura said. “We want to use our distinctive characters to lead a national movement.”
In May last year, Nishimura was expelled from Nippon Ishin no Kai when he addressed fellow lawmakers and alleged that Japan was home to “swarms of South Korean prostitutes.”
Tamogami, 66, was sacked from the SDF in October 2008 after publishing an essay that defended the nation’s wartime history and colonial rule, saying that Japan was not an “aggressor nation” during the 1930s and 1940s.
“I believe there are so many taboos in Japanese politics, but I think people should be freer to discuss all matters,” Tamogami said.
The party’s name and logo were taken from a party Ishihara established in November 2012 but dissolved four days later when it merged with Nippon Ishin, now known as Ishin no To.