8819 LDP

That’s not a license plate number: it’s the LDP’s cryptic way of tying themselves to the paternity leave system. Read out loud, it sounds similar to papa ikukyu (パパ育休) or “Daddy Childcare Leave.”

The code makes a very subtle appearance in the recent TV commercial featuring Sadakazu Tanigaki’s ridiculously impassioned speech about making Japan number one again. This spot has been coming up once in the rotation during every World Cup game I have seen so far (except, of course, the ones on NHK).

The slogan appears on the green silicon bracelet he’s wearing.

You can buy your own here, although you have to register as an LDP merchandise customer first, and I’m not sure whether non-citizens are definitively eligible for this. They do specify that you have to be a resident of Japan and that they will only ship within Japan.

(Thanks to Mrs. Peter for the tip)

22 thoughts on “8819 LDP”

  1. What was that Koizumi was saying? Something about the LDP not being worthy to be the majority party again now? Sounds about right.

  2. Does anybody else think its strange that the LDP is effectively asking Japan’s workforce to wage a passive-aggressive war of resistance against their capitalist overlords by wearing these things as signs of worker solidarity? Says so right in the advertising:


    Also, what the hell is this?


    Colours of Peace? Evidence of comradeship? Something strange is happening to the LDP.

  3. Wouldn’t it be awesome if Japan had a political party that wasn’t generally embarrassing?

  4. the wonders of democracy
    Now the LDP who did nothing while sabi-zan and karoshi went rampant, is defending the workers!
    After some years like and the japanese labor market will grow out of indentured servitude after all.

  5. @David. Hard to really compare with the US though. While I’m certainly not asserting that the GOP or the Dems are generally embarrassing, the way all elections other than the presidential one are mainly the duty of local parties (and the selection of presidential nominee is more due to grass roots than party bigwigs, as seen by Obama’s upset vs. Clinton) means that party discipline/cohesion is of a far lesser order than in systems like Japan or UK where there’s a real national party membership, so it’s much easier for individual politicians to be significantly less embarrassing than their party.

  6. Yes, my wife suggested that Joe and I sport these, to which I replied, “ONTO MY COLD, DEAD, HAND!”

    8819 for papa ikkyuu is so utterly meaningless. What, am I supposed to ping someone’s poke-beru with that?

  7. Fortunately all the ads during the World Cup were during the 15-20 minute halftime period, and were easily ignored.

  8. >Wouldn’t it be awesome if Japan had a political party that wasn’t generally embarrassing?

    I don’t think the DPJ as a party is embarrassing, and less so now that their manifesto is more realistic. It’s the individual personalities that are less than desirable. At the very least, the DPJ does have a political orientation. Most of the minor parties do too, as one would expect, given their size encourages greater cohesion. I’ll give this to Hiranuma: no matter how much of a a$$hole he is, at least I know why I think he is a a$$hole.

    But Your Party, as indicated by the ridiculous name, doesn’t have a brand. Aside from vague coherence to market principles and fiscal discipline, I’m not sure what they stand for. Meanwhile, the LDP is acting like it did in the 1970s and 1980s: don’t worry too much about developing a coherent and consistent platform, promise the people shit that might improve their lives, and if possible steal some policies from the opposition. I don’t think that works in the new political environment, and the LDP should really be cultivating itself as a kind of Conservative Party a la the UK, or CDU/CSU a la Germany. Not selling rubber bands online for child welfare.

  9. rabuho,

    I have not easily ignored Jamiroquai singing in Japanese. It haunts me in my sleep, actually.

  10. A party that has consistently had trouble with different surnames for husbands and wives is getting its mo up for this!?

  11. I remember when the LDP tried to get people to call the party by the nickname “JF”. It was just after the J-League rebranding of football where “J+something else” seemed trendy.

    When asked what JF was supposed to stand for, a spokesman said “Whatever you want! Why not Japan Friendly?”

    This episode in LDP public relations appears to have been buried very deeply so there are now few references to it. The Wiki entry for “JF” does acknowledge that it’s a” 自由民主党の略称” but doesn’t elaborate.


  12. ”What was that Koizumi was saying? Something about the LDP not being worthy to be the majority party again now? Sounds about right.”

    ”What does Japan get to be number one in?”

    ”Wouldn’t it be awesome if Japan had a political party that wasn’t generally embarrassing?”

    Check this.


  13. Caption for the first photo: “The LDP will give you the finger. (And not even the right finger, either)”

  14. The Shinjiro Koizumi ad, by the way, is only available on the Internet because it is not allowed on most TV channels. Apparently having the leader on is “political advertising,” which is allowed, but having a regular member of the Diet on is “electoral advertising,” which is not. Or the reverse. I never can remember.

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