The caudillo candidate

Mainichi has published an account of an interview with Alberto Fujimori, former president of Peru now under house arrest in Santiago, Chile and recently named to Kokumin Shinto‘s proportional representation list.

In it, Fujimori promises to return to Peru, and notes that running for office in Japan does not mean the end of his political career in Peru.

My favorite line from the article, though, is the following: “Highlighting rapprochements with neighbors Ecuador and Chile, and the restoration of public order as the achievements from his time as president, he stated, ‘As a member of the House of Councillors, I want to tackle foreign policy and public order problems.'”

I’m sure Vladimiro Montesinos can give Mr. Fujimori some creative ideas on how to solve Japan’s “public order problems.”

Then again, Japan might be in need for some serious Fujishock.

In any case, it is probably a mistake to attribute too much significance to Fujimori’s candidacy, which says more about the troglodytic tendencies of some members of Kokumin Shinto than any particular fault of the Japanese people. With luck, the Japanese people will ensure that this washed-up tin pot dictator continues to stroll the grounds of his St. Helena in Santiago, occasionally sending video messages to his supporters in Peru promising a return.

(Incidentally, for those interested in Fujimori’s rise to power in Peru, he plays a significant role in Peruvian novelist Mario Vargas Llosa’s A Fish in the Water, a memoir of Vargas Llosa’s 1990 presidential run, the year in which Fujimori won as a dark horse candidate.)

(And those with a more academic interest in Nikkeijin would do well to read this post at Frog in a Well.)

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