Axel Klein

Populism in Japan - What we know and where we can go from here

While research on rural populism in Japan is still very much on the to-do list of country specialists and political scientists, the body of academic literature on Japanese populism in general has grown over the last years. Political parties like Ishin no Kai and Reiwa Shinsengumi as well as individual politicians like Hashimoto Toru, Koike Yoriko or Koizumi Jun’ichiro have been analyzed through different conceptual lenses of populism. This presentation will summarize key findings and offer suggestions for the direction future research including that on regional political actors and rural populism may take. In doing so, it will also address the key question of how to approach populism conceptually and where to draw the line between global definitions and uniquely Japanese types of populism.