The final candidate in Tokyo’s 13th district is Kazumasa Fujiyama, running under the Happiness Realization Party ticket.
Before I get to this guy’s profile, I want to quote from an excellent piece on the party from the Irish Times:
Founded earlier this year to offer voters a “third choice”, the HRP has an eye-catching manifesto: multiply Japan’s population by 2.5 to 300 million, overtake the US to become the world’s premier power, and rapidly rearm for conflict with North Korea and China.
If elected, its lawmakers will inject religion into all areas of life and fight to overcome Japan’s “colonial” mentality, which has “fettered” the nation’s true claim to global leadership.
A new book, The Guardian Spirit of Kim Jong-Il Speaks , by party founder Ryuho Okawa explains that earlier this month at a session in the party’s Tokyo headquarters, the voice of Kim’s guardian angel warned of his plans. But at least Kim is alive – Okawa also claims to be able to receive the thoughts of Japan’s notorious wartime monarch, emperor Hirohito (1901-1989), and his deceased predecessors.
Being able to commune with the dead is but one string to Okawa’s bow. A reincarnation of Buddha, he achieved great enlightenment in 1981, according to the party’s website, “and awakened to the hidden part of his consciousness, El Cantare, whose mission is to bring happiness to all humanity”.
Before he founded the Happy Science religion in 1986, Okawa wrote books under the names of Muhammad, Christ, Buddha and Confucius. Conveniently, if improbably, speaking in Japanese, some of the prophets had much the same message: Japan is the world’s greatest power and should ditch its constitution, rearm and take over Asia.
The Happies boast that they have sold 11 million copies of their bible, Shoshin Hogo (The Dharma of the Right Mind), in Japan since 1986, and opened 200 temples.
Okawa’s books, mixing new-age philosophy with self-improvement tips and political views, have sold millions more, apparently providing the funding for the campaign. Translating those beliefs into political power, however, has proved easier said than done. Tokyo voters shunned the Happies’ candidates in this month’s municipal election, which ended LDP rule in the city and set the DPJ up for a historic national win next month.
Also, you might be interested to see the Happy party’s new manifesto video. It’s very similar to the one they produced for the Tokyo assembly elections (that animated treasure was unfortunately taken down), only this time slightly more professional:
Now, to the candidate:
Profile: An architect by trade, Fujiyama became a full-time Happy Science member in 1995 and has since risen to become a leader in Tokyo – he previously served as the head of the Science’s Nippori Branch and Adachi Branch before being named deputy leader of the Tokyo Branch in 2009.
Before becoming a full-time Happie, Fujiyama was an employee of Haseko Corporation, a construction/engineering firm that’s listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. It’s unclear whether he was a member of Happy Science before 1995 or if he
One of Fujiyama’s bases of operations is the Science’s Nippori branch (seen here on Google Street View), which I happened to spot during a walk the other day:
Policy: As all Happiness Realization Party candidates appear to be carbon copies of one another, it’s no surprise that Fujiyama supports all the planks mentioned in the above video – slash taxes, smash North Korea, and somehow make Japan the world’s biggest economy by 2030 (I suspect they’d have to destroy all other countries to do this).
When asked in an Asahi questionnaire about how he would like the world to see Japan, he answered as “a great economy.” (経済大国)
Fujiyama claims in a blog post that the owner of a building near Kameari Station said she’ll support him because she hates paying consumption taxes.
Something interesting: Fujiyama bears an eerie resemblance to party founder and leader Ryuho Okawa:
OK, I’ll admit that their parts are on opposite sides, but don’t you think they both have a sort of “divine salaryman” look going on?
My next and final profile post will look at a few of the Tokyo proportional representation candidates.