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Public Lecture Slides (10.3.2017) Is Japan susceptible to populism?


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Is Japan susceptible to populism?

Date:Tuesday, Oct 3, 2017

Speaker: Gregory W. Noble, Professor, Institute of Social Science, The University of Tokyo

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Public Lecture Slides (10.3.2017) Is Japan susceptible to populism?

  1. 1. Is Japan susceptible to populism? Gregory W. Noble Institute of Social Science University of Tokyo Temple University, Japan October 3, 2017
  2. 2. Populism Discursive approach: claiming to speak for common people rather than corrupt elite (moral critique); • Examples: Hungary, France (Le Pen), UK (Brexit), US (Trump) • Elements (Inglehart/Norris 2016; Stenner 2005; Müller 2016): – Anti-establishment dichotomy: Set ‘The pure people’ against ‘corrupt elite/establishment’ – Nativism: Perceived threat to majority’s sense of normative order  Cultural backlash. Popular sovereignty, nationalism – Authoritarianism: Preference for strong leader unbound by procedural rules protecting minorities and immigrants. • Task: how do leaders define “the people” and “the elite”? • Causes: Economic insecurity (especially unemployment) or cultural backlash? Both, but mostly identity and fear
  3. 3. Foreign example: Election of Trump Xenophobia (外国人排斥) and sexism mattered more than economic insecurity • Racism and hostile sexism (rather than paternalism) correlated much more closely with support for Trump than did economic dissatisfaction. Trump did better among richer voters and in areas with fewer immigrants. • About 68% of white, working-class voters “believe the American way of life needs to be protected from foreign influence.” In comparison, “only” 44 percent of white college-educated Americans reported a similar view. • About 60% of white, working-class voters say, “because things have gotten so far off track, we need a strong leader who is willing to break the rules.” • Europe: small, white towns supported Brexit; London didn’t.
  4. 4. Trump: White, Christian nationalist support
  5. 5. Trump: ‘Silent Majority’; ‘Making America Great Again’ (especially older, white men)
  6. 6. Trump did especially well in South, rural areas (notice Confederate flag)
  7. 7. Trump’s opponents saw him as fascist; that might be a bit of a stretch, but…
  8. 8. But he definitely appealed to misogynists (女嫌いの人)
  9. 9. And Hillary haters…
  10. 10. Marine Le Pen’s populism: ‘In the name of the people’
  11. 11. So who are ‘the people’? The patriots, not the globalists
  12. 12. Biggest fear: immigration, cultural conflict
  13. 13. Papa Jean Marie Le Pen was indicted as a racist for this 2010 ‘No to Islamism’ poster of the Algerian flag imposed on map of France
  14. 14. Marine has repudiated the worst of her father’s racism, but still calls for struggle against Islam as an assault on women’s rights
  15. 15. UK Independence Party’s ‘Brexit’ campaign: similar (‘we want our country back’), though not quite as populist
  16. 16. UKIP, Leave Campaign: Nominally about leaving EU, but at heart was immigration
  17. 17. ‘Britain First—No More Mosques!’
  18. 18. Philippine populism Notice the fist—and the sober face
  19. 19. What about Japan? • Seeming vulnerability – Demographic aging – Economic decline relative to South Korea, China – Reputation for xenophobia (but see next slide) • But with some modest partial exceptions (discussed later), not populist: LDP is still in power, proper procedures are followed, media are not too polarized (Yomiuri =/= Fox News) • Why? Potential supply, but limited demand
  20. 20. Japan ranks comparatively LOW on nativism: only 15% say they “feel like a stranger in my own country”; few feel that “society is broken”. Why?
  21. 21. Firewalls [防火壁」against populism (1) Social integration • High social integration, low levels of immigration (few Muslims; almost no refugees) little perceived threat to majority’s sense of “normative order” (規範的秩序に 対する脅威が弱い) • Little crime, few drugs and almost no terrorism (so far) • Result: little backlash (反発が起きにくい)
  22. 22. The myth of “the myth of homogeneity” • Traditional view: Japan is a homogeneous society 単一民族国家の神話 • Historians, anthropologists (esp. foreigners): ‘Wrong! What about historical complexity, “Douwa” groups, Ainu, “Zainichi Koreans,” new immigrants, sexual minorities, social class!’ Some truth to all this, of course • But to a political scientist, Japan is indeed far more homogeneous than most other countries; as result, the majority does not feel threatened; identity does not drive voting behavior
  23. 23. Foreigners • Only 2% of Japan’s population. Compare: – Australia: 28% – Canada: 20% – France 12% – Germany 13% – Italy 9% – Sweden 16% – US 13% – UK 12% • No threat to mainstream Japanese dominance
  24. 24. Ethnicity “Minority groups” (Burakumin, Ainu;Koreans, Chinese) are quite small (2-3% of total), physically and culturally indistinguishable, rapidly inter-marrying • Homogeneity is “Socially constructed,” of course—but that’s the point. When Japanese say, “We’re homogeneous,” they are signaling inclusiveness. • To be sure, intolerant of continued diversity—melting pot but not salad bowl (rejection of continued separate identity, e.g. dual citizenship)
  25. 25. Japanese don’t see immigration in a particularly positive light (13% in 2015)
  26. 26. And some are absolutely opposed to ‘dissolution of Japan by immigration’ (notice: protesters are all men)
  27. 27. But most aren’t worried about it, either (probably because it’s so limited) Japan 13%, US 49%, France 60% (and Turkey 92%!)
  28. 28. 7-11 Employees: No hijabs, no blond hair— hard to tell if they are ethnic Japanese or Koreans, Chinese, etc.
  29. 29. Language • Virtually all Japanese and the large majority of foreign residents speak Japanese • Regional dialectical differences persist (関西 弁、東北弁, etc.), but are modest and steadily shrinking. Standard Japanese 標準語 has won. • No calls for Japanese schools to teach “mother tongues” different from Japanese (contrast Quebec; Taiwan; Ireland; Barcelona; or debates over bilingual education in California)
  30. 30. Religion: Not historic clash with Islam (unlike US, Europe, India, even China) • Most Japanese are syncretic, few are theologically dogmatic. Most Japanese have a Christian/Shinto wedding but a Buddhist funeral and have a butsudan altar at home; participate in Shinto festivals. • Christians: 1-2% • Jews, Muslims, others very minor • Only one religiously-affiliated party: Komeito, but it is modest in size and now in semi-permanent coalition with the ruling LDP—hardly a populist challenger • One caveat: many Japanese feel threatened by more ideological religions (domestic; imported). Cf. Oum.
  31. 31. Most Japanese now get married in pseudo- Christian wedding chapels and wear white, western wedding dresses
  32. 32. But many also have traditional, Shinto- based elements—and see no conflict
  33. 33. Japan has over 100 mosques; with rare exceptions, little opposition to their construction—not sense of “stranger in my own country” (lots of police spies around, though…)
  34. 34. Japan’s crime rate is very low and falling  Little sense that “society is broken”
  35. 35. And incidence of crime is falling (NB: chart not corrected for population growth)
  36. 36. But fear of crime is increasing (even as actual crime falls). 2012 Hanzai Hakusho Fear of walking alone at night or break-in
  37. 37. Foreigner crime: Theft is down but violent crime is up (foreigner share of total crimes still low, but potential source of friction—cf. Ishihara’s repeated comments about 三国人 , foreigners as source of ‘atrocious crimes’)
  38. 38. What about Foreigner quotas in sports(外国 人枠)—isn’t this an example of perceived threat? Yes, a bit, but not too serious so far • Sumo: Yes, somewhat nativist – About 7% overall, but 1/3 of top two ranks – Informal ban on new entrants 1992-2010 – Formal limit since 2010 (one per stable) – Now applies to all foreign-born wrestlers • Baseball: interesting variation – Quotas since 1952; currently 4 per 25 man roster – But four-year graduates of Japanese universities treated as locals (culture, not race or ethnicity)
  39. 39. Kisenosato 稀勢の里: first native Japanese to win sumo tournament in 10 years (2016); first Japanese- born wrestler ranked Yokozuna (top) in 19 years (2017). Japanese public was very happy!
  40. 40. But the great Mongolian-born champion Hakuhō白鵬 is also popular (and most foreign sumo wrestlers marry Japanese women, and become Japanese citizens)
  41. 41. And you can even look different— as long as you act precisely Japanese (Wedding of Kotoōshū, Bulgarian-born Ozeki, who just established his own sumo stable)
  42. 42. If you win, you don’t have to look Japanese (Abdul Hakim Sani Brown; Aska Cambridge) or even speak Japanese to be accepted (Osaka Naomi, who only knows 「かちたい!」)
  43. 43. Summary and implication • For practical purposes, Japan IS a relatively homogeneous countrylittle perceived threat • Ethnicity, immigrant status, language and even religion are not major sources of social cleavage and voting behavior in Japan (minor exceptions: (Komeito; debates over local voting rights for permanent residents, mainly Korean) • THUS, race, religion, language and immigration are not ready fodder for would-be populists in Japan.
  44. 44. Firewalls against populism (2) Economics, media, history • Perception that Japan gains from trade • Relatively secure employment even for youth • Modest levels of inequality; rural areas well represented politically • Mainstream newspapers, TV still dominate • Memory of WWII repression: wary of populism
  45. 45. Economics: Japanese generally see themselves as net winners in trade • Japan depends upon trade (few natural resources; shrinking population) • Japan has run big trade surpluses Cf. US! • Inward foreign investment is quite limited— indeed, most people think it should increase • Could change if Chinese investment. increases…(cf. Germany) • But overall, very different from Europe, US
  46. 46. Japan has run persistent surpluses in trade and on wider Current Account since late 60s; reverse of the US pattern
  47. 47. Unemployment is very low (2.8%); 1.52 job openings for every applicant— August 2017 was best in 43 years
  48. 48. Japan's youth unemployment, once slightly elevated, is now just 4% Spain 41%, Italy 34%, France 24%, even Germany 7%
  49. 49. But isn’t “regular” (good) employment (full-time; open-ended contract) being replaced by insecure “non-regular” employment ?!?
  50. 50. NO! Not replacement but addition: Regular employment is holding up surprisingly well in absolute terms, especially as working-age pop. shrinks
  51. 51. Three additions (even as working age population shrinks) • Women (especially “part-time”) • More college Students (especially アルバイト) • Former “self-employed”
  52. 52. Now most young people are in school: tertiary education attendance rate doubled 1985-2016 (cheaper than in US but more expensive than in Europe most college students have part-time jobs)
  53. 53. Also reflects decline in self-employed 自営業者 —but they never enjoyed “permanent” benefits in the first place
  54. 54. Support for ‘Japanese-style employment’ declined during bubble period but now at all-time high (88%) Preference for security 安定志向 and a ‘sense of unity’ in workplace; 76% even support seniority wages!
  55. 55. Consider an ideal-typical family: still anchored by a “regular” employee father • Dad still has a “permanent” job with a steady wage and good benefits [NB: divorce rate is still fairly low] • Mom, once “just” a housewife, now works part-time at the supermarket for low wages and few benefits (may or may not be “by choice”) • Grandpa had to retire early, now working as a non- regular worker for lower wages (grumbling, but OK) • Son is struggling as a temp worker (no security, low wages), but by late 20s he will find a permanent job • Daughter is working part-time while in university—
  56. 56. Implication • “Permanent” employment system may be economically inflexible in some ways, and biased against women, as critics charge • But for better or worse it is proving very durable • And it provides a great deal of stabilityundermines appeal of populism
  57. 57. Inequality: Never as limited as advertised, but not so bad and not expanding much (Gini coefficient for income [not wealth])
  58. 58. Modest levels of inequality at work: harder to attack “corrupt elite”
  59. 59. Firewalls against populism (3) Limited Progressivism, polarization • Weak progressivism (sex roles, etc.)  little backlash – Same family name (LDP blocks 夫婦別姓) – No female empress – Weak laws on sexual harassment, equal employment – No gay marriage; little discussion of trans-sexuals – Limited “political correctness”
  60. 60. A welfare state resistant to scapegoating; small size of bureaucracy • Welfare state is modest compared to Europe or even US • Focus on health care and pensions: universalistic and biased toward old people • “Welfare” benefits in narrow sense (e.g. seikatsu hogo 生活保護 and even unemployment insurance)are very limited – Perhaps cruel (eg little support for single mothers) – But relatively resistant to populist attacks: welfare is limited and “for us, not for those other people”
  61. 61. Media: NOT polarized; no Fox news • Japan is exceptional – Newspapers are declining, but much more slowly than elsewhere; most people read same newspapers – Internet and social media are gaining, but TV news remains dominant as source of political information – Fewer channels, virtually no all-day cable news; talk radio limited, not too politicized • Cause or effect? Supply or demand?
  62. 62. Partial, temporary exceptions proving the rule • ‘Penal populism’ 刑事ポピュリズム: movement to empower crime victims and families, stiffen prison terms (early-to-mid 2000s) • Early 2000s, progressives pushed a “relaxed education” policy ゆとり教育 – Led to (?) decline in Japan’s rank in international education tests (PISA, TIMSS) – Backlash, reversal; quieting down • 2006- Hate speech (anti-Korean/Chinese) – More populist, more aimed at the mainstream than in the old ‘sound truck’ days 行動する保守運動、especially 在特会 – But small numbers; led to anti-hate law  decline
  63. 63. Supply: No lack of potential populist leaders —from the cities rather than countryside • Former Tokyo Governor Ishihara Shintaro • Regional parties in Osaka and Tokyo: but mild – Osaka Governor Hashimoto Toru 大阪維新の会 (Initiatives from Osaka), 日本維新の会/党 (Japan Restoration/Innovation Party). Bureaucrat bashing, but more neo-liberal than populist: subject constituents to market rather than protecting them from the market – Tokyo Governor Koike Yuriko from LDP to anti-LDP: Member of Nippon Kaigi and anti-establishment but also somewhat neo-liberal and ambiguous on immigrants; focused on Toyosu fish market
  64. 64. Former Osaka Mayor Hashimoto Toru: Opposes bureaucrats, unions and Asahi, but comes from minority background, and his policy views are eclectic. Nearly came to blows on TV with “Sakurai Makoto”, a basher of Japanese-Koreans. Hashimoto’s party soon failed.
  65. 65. Tokyo Governor Koike: ‘I’ll renegotiate those expensive Olympic costs!’ (member of conservative Nippon Kaigi, but low-key, ambiguous on immigrants; how long will her new Party of Hope 希望の党 last??)
  66. 66. PM Abe: Hard-core reactionary nationalist • Abe takes “history issues” as a threat to Japan’s moral order; wants to revise constitution; compels show of respect for national flag and anthem; extols strong leadership; attacks liberal media such as Asahi • Came to power in part by skillfully playing up foreign threats (North Korea rachi kidnappings; Chinese navy) • Wants to strengthen alliance with US, build up Japan’s military forces and revise pacifist constitution • But precisely because Abe, LDP are socially conservative, they elicit less of a backlash by older, less-educated, rural males—not threatened by a progressive agenda.
  67. 67. Still, Abe is not a Trump or Le Pen • Son of elite establishment family, not outsider • Generally doesn’t demonize enemies, denigrate expert knowledge or hint at sympathy for violence (contra Trump, Duterte) • Seeks international cooperation—US alliance, but also UN, TPP, Paris accord • Ambiguous on women (socially conservative; economically somewhat liberal) • Quietly favors expanding immigration (as 人 材)
  68. 68. Abe wants the Japanese public to be more patriotic, but he’s not a xenophobe—or more likely, feels constrained by international system and US alliance, and doesn’t see a market for xenophobia
  69. 69. Resistance to populism: Memories of war-time populism, repression • 1930s-1940s regime WAS xenophobic, based on rural reaction against perceived threat • Repression of dissent left bitter memories, esp. on left • It is true that since end of Cold War leftist parties and labor unions have greatly weakened • But public is still wary of constitutional revision and mostly committed to maintaining liberal democracy, with restraints on government, respect for process. Ex: anti-hate speech legislation—weak but effective • Still true? What does October 22 election imply?
  70. 70. Wild-card Scenarios: A shift to populism is conceivable, but… • Perceived abandonment by US 「放置」されたら。。。 – Serious and sustained “bashing” over trade – US pullback from Asia (contra Hillary’s ‘Asian pivot’) – Failure to respond to Chinese, North Korean attacks • Terrorist attacks in Japan • But so far, Japan remains relatively immune to populism: potential supply, but limited demand – Social integration (few immigrants; perceived homogeneity) – Stable economy (winners from trade; stable employment) – Limited inroads of progressivism—little to react against
  71. 71. EXTRA SLIDES
  72. 72. Working-age labor participation rate is a little low (fewer working women) but stable (Japan 60% vs. Germany 61%, US 63%, UK 79%)
  73. 73. Rise in non-regular employment is mostly occurring (1) after age 60
  74. 74. (2) And age 15-24, with big increase in part-time work—but mainly by HS, college students