This study has focused on the organizational and structural aspects of Nippon Kaigi, a major rightist lobbying group in Japan. It argues that Nippon Kaigi may not be that powerful despite the group’s influential outlook. By examining the elements of the organization and their relationships with each other, this study observes that Nippon Kaigi as a whole may not be very cohesive.
This is a preview of subscription content,to check access.
Access this article
For a list of Nippon Kaigi members in the current Abe cabinet, see Appendix 1.
For example, Ishiba Shigeru, then a cabinet minister and a Nippon Kaigi member, has consistently expressed a contrary view.
For a list of Nippon Kaigi’s main activities and goals, see Appendix 2.
The Japanese Imperial Calendar is a system of regnal years. For example, 1979 is Year 54 of Showa—under the previous Emperor—and 2017 is Year 29 of Heisei under the incumbent Emperor. In Japan, this system was once legalized in the Meiji era, but the clause was nullified when Imperial Household Law was amended under the 1946 Constitution.
These numbers are based on an Asahi Shimbun article cited on the website of the Hiroshima branch of Nippon Kaigi .
For these groups, for example, see Shibuichi .
Kokuchūkai was founded in 1914 by Tanaka Chigaku, who promoted modern Nichirenism.
The number of local governments in Japan has decreased from about 3300 in 1999 to 1700 in 2014.
These included electoral reforms, legal reforms concerning political funding and administrative reforms to the central bureaucracy.
Japanese politics follows the British system, or the Westminster system, where the Prime Minister is chosen by a majority vote in parliament.
The aforementioned district-level legislator  complains that votes from Nippon Kaigi’s affiliated groups are dispersed and not as helpful as before, as the numbers of Nippon Kaigi district-level legislators has seen a substantial increase.
Other areas where local governments enjoy certain decision-making power are daily public services, infrastructure building, medical issues and welfare.
Japan’s “political reforms” in the 1990s aimed to forge a typical Westminster system where legislators are strongly bound to the intentions of their party’s leadership. The Westminster system was originally formed in the UK and has spread to Canada, Australia, New Zealand, India, etc.
A “frame” can mean a set of specific interpretations and a certain understanding of events, situations, and the world as held or defended by participants of a given social movement.
See Shibuichi .
Kato, N. (2014). ‘Tea Party Politics in Japan’. The New York Times. Available at http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/13/opinion/tea-party-politics-in-japan.html?_r=0 (accessed 10 October 2015).
The Economist. (2015). ‘Right Side Up’. Available at http://www.economist.com/news/asia/21653676-powerful-if-little-reported-group-claims-it-can-restore-pre-war-order-right-side-up (accessed October 17, 2015).
Sugano, T. (2016). Nippon Kaigi no Kenkyū (A Study of the Japan Conference). Tokyo: Fusōsha. Chapter 1.
Yamazaki, M. (2016). Nippon Kaigi: Senzenkaiki Heno Jōnen (Japan Conference: Their Passion to Revert to Pre-war Society). Tokyo: Shūeisha.
Aoki, O. (2016). Nippon Kaigi no Shōtai (True Colors of Japan Conference). Tokyo: Heibonsha. Chapter 1.
Mizohata, S. (2016). ‘Nippon Kaigi: Empire, Contradiction, and Japan’s Future.’ The Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus. Volume 14, Issue 21, Number 2, Nov 2016.
Nippon Kaigi. (2015). Available at http://www.nipponkaigi.org/about (accessed October 30, 2015).
Matsuoka, M. (2005). Nichiren Bukkyō no Shakaishisōteki Tenkai: Kindai Nihonno Shūkyō Ideorogi. Tokyo. Tōkyō Daigaku Shuppankai.
Otani E. (2001). Kindai Nipponno Nichiren-shugi Undō. Tokyo. Hōzōkan.
Aoki, O. (2016). Nippon Kaigi no Shōtai. Tokyo: Heibonsha. Chapter 2.
Nippon Kaigi Hiroshima Branch. (2015). Available at http://jp-pride.com/topic/post-80.html (accessed November 28, 2015).
Shūkan Daiamondo (Weekly Diamond). (2016). ‘Nihonde Ichibanno Kanemochi Jinja: Meiji Jingūha Shūeki Kakuhoni Goshisshin’. 2016 April 16.
Sugano, T. (2016). Nippon Kaigi no Kenkyū. Tokyo: Fusōsha. Chapter 3.
Hori, Y. (2000). Sengono Uyoku Seiryoku (Rightist Forces in the Postwar Period). Keisō Shobō. Tokyo. p. 76–77.
Suzuki, K. (1998). Shin Uyoku: Minzokuha no Rekishito Genzai (New Right-Wing: History and Contemporary Development of the Nationalist Faction). Sairyū Sha. Tokyo. p. 31.
Shibuichi, D. (2007). ‘The Uyoku Rōnin Dō: Assessing the Lifestyles and Values of Japan's Contemporary Right Wing Radical Activists’. Electronic Journal of Contemporary Japanese Studies. Available at http://www.japanesestudies.org.uk/discussionpapers/2007/Shibuichi.html (accessed October 10, 2015).
Aoki, O. (2016). Nippon Kaigi no Shōtai. Tokyo: Heibonsha. Chapter 4.
Shibuichi, D. (2008). ‘Japan's History Textbook Controversy: Social Movements and Governments in East Asia, 1982–2006’. Electronic Journal of Contemporary Japanese Studies. Available at http://www.japanesestudies.org.uk/discussionpapers/2008/Shibuichi.html (accessed December 23, 2016).
Sugano, T. (2016). Nippon Kaigi no Kenkyū. Tokyo: Fusōsha. Chapter 4.
Steinhoff, P. G. (2015). ‘Finding Happiness in Japan’s Invisible Civil Society’. Voluntas: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations, 26: 98–120.
Shibuichi, D. (2015). ‘Zaitokukai and the Problem With Hate Groups in Japan’. Asian Survey. Vol. 55, No. 4, pp. 715–738.
Pekkanen, R. (2004). ‘After the Developmental State: Civil Society in Japan’. Journal of East Asian Studies 4 (2004), 363–388
Murakami, S. (1970). Kokka Shintō. Tokyo. Iwanami Shoten.
Ashizu, U. (1988). Kokka Shintō toha Nandattanoka. Tokyo. Jinja Shimpō Sha.
Shibuichi, D. (2005). ‘The Yasukuni Shrine Dispute and the Politics of Identity in Japan: Why All the Fuss?’. Asian Survey. Vol. 45, No. 2, pp. 197–215.
Akahata. (2015). ‘Abe Shushōto Gyakuryūno Keifu’. Available at http://www.jcp.or.jp/akahata/web_daily/2015/01/post-40.html (accessed November 13, 2016).
Shūkan Asahi (Weekly Asahi). (2015). ‘San’insenha ‘Kamidanomi’: Dai Sanji Abe Kaizo Seiken o Sasaeru Shūkyō’. Available at http://dot.asahi.com/wa/2015101400052.html?page=2 (accessed November 18, 2015).
Tokyo Shimbun. (2015). ‘Kusanone Hoshu no Senpei: Nippon Kaigi Chihō Giren’. Available at http://www.tokyo-np.co.jp/article/tokuho/list/CK2015032802000140.html (accessed November 22, 2015)
Aoki, O. (2016). Nippon Kaigi no Shōtai. Tokyo: Heibonsha. Chapter 3.
Takenaka, H. (2006). Shushō Shihai: Nihon Seijino Henbō (Prime Minister’s Rule: Changing Japanese Politics). Tokyo. Chūō Kōron Sha.
Nippon Kaigi Sōmō Kukki. (2011). ‘Chosen Gakkō no Hojokin o Haishiseyo: Tokyo To ga Kusshiteha Naranai’. Available at http://prideofjapan.blog10.fc2.com/blog-entry-3930.html. (accessed January 26, 2016).
Aoki, O. (2016). Nippon Kaigi no Shōtai. Tokyo: Heibonsha. Chapter 5.
Sugano, T. (2016). Nippon Kaigi no Kenkyū. Tokyo: Fusōsha. Concluding Section.
Penny, M., and Wakefield, B. (2008). ‘Right Angles: Examining Accounts of Japanese Neo-nationalism’. Pacific Affairs Vol. 81, No. 4, pp. 537–555.
Nagy, S. R. (2015). Is Japan really turning right? (Nihonwa Hontoni Ukeika Shiteiruka ?) Diamond Online. Available at http://diamond.jp/articles/-/71509 (accessed January 20, 2016). English version available at http://www.eastasiaforum.org/2015/06/19/is-japan-really-tilting-to-the-right/ (accessed January 26, 2016).
Shibuichi, D. (2017). ‘The Article 7 Association, Leftist Elites, and the Movement to Save Article 9 of Japan’s Postwar Constitution’. East Asia: An International Quarterly. Vol. 34, Issue 2, pp. 147–161.
Nippon Kaigi’s main activities and goals
Historical perception related
Justify Japan’s war efforts in World War Two
Oppose Japanese government making apologies for wars and colonialism
Argue against China on Nanjing Massacre and South Korea on “comfort women”
Pressure legislators to visit Yasukuni Shrine
Promote patriotic education
Oppose over-emphasizing citizens’ rights in education
Oppose what they call liberal gender education
Promote loyalty to the state and emperor
Publish and promote school textbooks that fit its views
Amendment of constitution/policy related
Rebuild the armed forces
Promote the notion of collective self-defense
Re-designate the emperor as Head of the State (Kokka-genshu)
Oppose the government project to promote gender equality in the workplace
Oppose giving voting rights to non-citizens
Imperial institutions and Shinto related
Legalize the Imperial Calendar (achieved)
Commemorate the late Shōwa Emperor
Pressure the government so that mourning and accession ceremonies for emperors should be conducted in the Shinto style
Pressure the government to organize Shinto-style ceremonies to celebrate the day when the mythical Emperor Jinmu acceded to the throne as Japan’s first Emperor
Oppose female emperor as well as female-line succession of emperors
Oppose legalizing the system of husband and wife retaining separate family names
Foreign relation related
Oppose subsidies provided by local governments to resident North Korean schools
Demand North Korea to return Japanese hostages
Demand North Korea to stop developing WMDs
Demand China to stop sending government vessels to Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands
Demand South Korea to return Takeshima/Dokdo island
Demand Russia to return Northern Territories
Oppose and criticize leftist/liberal mass media outlets
Oppose leftist Japan Teachers’ Union
Legalize national flag and anthem (achieved)
About this article
Cite this article
Shibuichi, D. The Japan Conference (Nippon Kaigi): an Elusive Conglomerate. East Asia 34, 179–196 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12140-017-9274-1