Kouichi Toyama is one of fourteen men running for Governor of Tokyo in an election this coming Sunday. The election is shaping up to be a bit like the free-for-all race for California governor a few years back that pitted career politicians against actors, businessmen, and a variety of oddballs. Unlike your average political candidate, Toyama used his widely televised speech as an opportunity to advocate destroying the country and replacing it with something more functional.
His speech, depending on your perspective, is somewhere between extreme activism and largely unintentional comedy, but at least for him it’s certainly not a joke—he was recently released from a two-year prison sentence for sedition. Toyama doesn’t have illusions (or delusions) of having any chance at winning, but his PR stunt has certainly raised his profile—in addition to television broadcasts his speech is all over the Japanese-language internet and dozens of mix-ups are available on YouTube.
See for yourself; below is the entire speech (taken from one of the YouTube postings) with English subtitles added by us.
Toyama also (of course) has a Japanese-language blog. He posted several videos there (also available on YouTube) of him at his day job—a street musician. He’s probably a better singer than he is a public speaker.
Uptade: According to a Yomiuri Online article (J), the board of elections is complaining that the massive response on YouTube and similar video clip sites violates election laws. There is a legal limit to the number of times an election speech can be broadcast, and they are claiming that the ability to re-watch a candidate’s speech over and over violates the laws and is unfair to the other candidates.
Sounds an awful lot like sour grapes just because their speeches weren’t as interesting.