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Kozo's Thoughts
Random, Weird, and 100% 石黒光司
Reppin' the Tokyo 1-9!!! Part 4: Shinichiro Ishida (HRP), the new kid on MY block 
Thursday August 27th, 2009 22:24
Ohta Kouzou
Shinichiro Ishida Poster

Shinichiro Ishida is the Happiness Realization Party's candidate in the 19th district.

Back Story
Ishida was born and raised in Kokubunji. He went to Elementary and Middle school in Kokubunji, before going to the private Soka High School in Kodaira. The latter fact is sort of interesting because the school is operated by Soka Gakkai, the new religious movement behind Komeito. He attended Nihon University and graduated with an Arts & Science degree. After graduation he worked at OBIC for a little over 4 years. On July 7, of the 7th year of the Heisei-era (1995) he officially joined the Happy Science, new religious movement. From there he moved around various Happy Science branches including Yamanashi, Nagano, Ina, Matsue, Okayama, Tokorozawa, Nerima, and Suginami, until finally becoming the head of the Musashino branch, a position he currently holds. When the Happy Science movement created the Happiness Realization Party in May of this year, Ishida was named the Vice-President of the Tokyo Office of the newly-formed party. He also has a wife and two kids.

Politics
I think it's fair to say that Shinichiro Ishida is not running a personalized campaign. Beyond introducing himself as born and raised in Kokubunji, and still resident in the city, the rest of his campaign material and speeches are indistinguishable from the HRP platform. Ishida doesn't make a case for why HE would be a good candidate, but rather why the HRP's ideals are good. So unlike some other HRP candidates like Doctor Nakamatsu, Ishida seems to be just a HRP drone. So what follows is really just the HRP's platform, and not Ishida's own nuanced view of it.

So the big thing the HRP is stressing is the elimination of the consumption tax and the inheritance tax. The argument being that these taxes discourage spending, and ultimately does not to lead to more government revenue. They point to the overall decrease in government revenue prior to the implementation of the tax, and after it was raised from 3% to the current 5%. They don't discuss other factors that might have lead to these decreases and their graphs blow up the scale significantly making even minor changes seem major. Their second major policy plank concerns national defence. The HRP is using the threat of a North Korean nuclear missile attack to make the argument that Japan should retain the right to preemptive strike. This would entail repealing Article 9 of the Japanese constitution, and that Japan should be responsible for its own defense. The third major plank the HRP presents is increasing Japan's population to 300 million (Japan's current population lies around 127 million). To accomplish this insanely ambitious goal, the HRP suggests a radical overhaul of the housing, education, and transportation situation of the citizenry. Apparently the HRP's proposal would build massive combined commercial-residential high rises in city centres where families would live in 6LDK units, and work would be a short monorail ride away, if not in the same building. I think this ties in with the HRP's proposal to link up the world with an international linear motor train system. Oh by the way, for all the foreigners reading this profile, the HRP would also encourage immigration and naturalization as part of it's population plan. I'm not sure how all this ties in with Happy Science's ideology, but really all you need to know about Happy Science and the HRP is that it's all one big personality cult centred around Ryuho Okawa.

Campaign
Happiness Realization Party 19th District HQ
Happiness Realization Party Campaign Posters

Ishida's campaign headquarters happens to be right behind my house. It's a private residence with tons of HRP posters. I didn't bother ringing the bell for fear I might Realize Happiness™. As you can tell from the photo the HRP has numerous flavors of poster and most feature Okawa, and not the candidate. This is all consistant with the HRp's incredibly well-funded campaign that featured full page color ads in major news papers, and tons of different posters abound. The campaign is focussed on the three planks described above, with the consumption tax issue getting the most attention.

Chances
When the HRP ran candidates in the Tokyo prefectural elections last month, they came away with nothing. I expect the same here in the 19th. Ishida will definitely lose, although I expect him to do better than Takahashi. I hope to god that the HRP won't garner enough votes to get a PR-seat, but I'm not entirely sure how much influence Happy Science actually wields.

Summary
Shinichiro Ishida is a drone of the Happy Science new religious movement, and their political party, the Happiness Realization Party.
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