Voices | VIEWS FROM THE STREET

Views from Tokyo: Have you felt Japan shifting to the right recently under Abe?

by Mark Buckton

Rie Sasaki
Radiographer, 39 (Swedish)
As someone born and raised in Japan, but now a naturalized Swede currently visiting, I have not noticed any significant moves to the right, although I’ve heard of these claims. There are far more serious issues to address in modern Japanese society.

Nozomi Takayanagi
Office worker, 32 (Japanese)
No, I don’t think so. Japan is certainly not like it once was. I associate the right wing with old Japan, and people today are far more free, and that is something that must continue. Moves to the so-called right are not something we need.

Hirokazu Iizuka
Engineer, 54 (Japanese)
The government is moving a bit to the right. Our leader, Shinzo Abe, is taking us toward the possibility of war. He has changed our national understanding and use of the Self-Defense Forces, bringing it in line with countries such the USA, U.K. and France.

Rica Kang
Saleswoman, 30 (South Korean)
Japan is looking at the right of collective self-defense, as well as Japan-U.S. security issues and (anti-foreigner) hate speech. The current political situation is turning Japan to the right. People are sacrificed in these situations because we can’t get correct facts.

Ching-Yeh Lin
Designer, 29 (Taiwanese)
I think so. What’s happening is the opposite of democracy, as Abe and his party are not listening to people, much like China. I don’t understand why they are going down the military path, as they did this before and were defeated. They should learn their lesson.

Sharmila Aliyurizai
Student, 21 (Indonesian)
I haven’t noticed the government moving right. However, there are government-sponsored programs that are abusing foreign workers, like internship programs in which people end up underpaid and illegally placed as construction workers and in unskilled jobs.

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