Populism in Regional Japan: Where is the "Revenge of the Places That Don't Matter"?

17.12.2021 10:00 - 18.12.2021 13:00

Two Day Workshop (17. ~ 18.12.2021) organized by Hanno Jentzsch

| Abstract |

  • Large parts of regional Japan have been facing protracted demographic and socio-economic decline in the form of outmigration, disproportionate aging, depopulation, industrial decline, weak local economies, and eroding public service provision. Political programs to “revitalize” Japan’s peripheries – such as the Abe governments’ (2012-2020) “regional creation” campaign – have so far proven insufficient to stop the socio-economic, political, and cultural overconcentration on the Tokyo area. If anything, it seems that the political interest in regional Japan has been declining over recent years. In many democratic countries throughout the developed world (incl. Germany, France, USA and UK), peripheralized regions (both rural and deindustrializing) have been identified as the breeding ground for mostly right-wing populist movements – the electoral “revenge of the places that don’t matter”, as Andres Rodriguez-Pose labelled it. In Japan, however, the peripheries have not yet “taken revenge”. At the same time, nativist and nationalist positions are very much present in Japanese politics, and some areas (such as Osaka or Nagoya) have seen the rise of regional "neoliberal" populist politicians and parties - trends that the results of the general elections in October 2021 seem to confirm.
    As a growing body of literature investigates the characteristics of populism “made in Japan”, this workshop aims to investgate the missing link between regional inequality, peripheralization, and populism in Japan. The workshop brings together experts on populism in Japan, local politics, and the political economy of regional Japan, thereby combining different disciplinary perspectives as well as qualitative and quantitative methods.

| Dates |

  • December 17, 2021, 10:15-12:30 (CET) 
  • December 18, 2021, 10:30-12:45 (CET)

| Contributors |

  • Andreas Eder-Ramsauer (Freie Universität Berlin)
  • Ken V.L. Hijino (Kyoto University)
  • Hanno Jentzsch (University of Vienna)
  • Axel Klein (University of Duisburg-Essen)
  • Kostiantyn Ovsiannikov (Kochi University of Technology)
  • Gabriele Vogt (LMU Munich)

| Link & Further Information | 


Department of East Asian Studies - Japanese Studies


(c) Hanno Jentzsch