Send in the clowns: over in Japan, a man dressed as The Joker is running for governor.
When Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker was released, its discussion of social and political issues – particularly the treatment of mental health – became a major talking point, for better or worse. We do live in a society, after all.
Now, the red-suited, clown-faced aesthetic is being used for political gain, with one hopeful Japanese candidate aiming to become governor of Chiba Prefecture.
Yuusuke Kawai, of the Party to Make All of Chiba a Land of Dreams and Magic, is hoping to fill the slot left by retiring incumbent Kensaku Morita.
As reported by SoraNews24, Kawai’s agenda seems to be intent on bugging his rival candidate Masayuki Hiratsuka, a former Protect the Nation from NHK member and current head of the People’s Sovereignty Party, which is known for being anti-mask, dubbing COVID-19 as ‘just a cold’, and saying vaccines are dangerous.
As per Hachima Kikou, Kawai wants to build a Tokyo Tower in Chiba, rename Narita Airport as Disney Sky, make Let It Go the prefecture’s theme song, outlaw the word ‘trash’ and replace it with ‘star fragment’ and rename Makuhari Station as Makuhari Messe Isn’t Here Station.
As part of his promotions, he’s even released a music video that shows him parading around Tokyo to dance music and a closing ballad. His appearance and campaigning style is clearly working, with some users keen on the candidate.
One user commented, ‘I think he’s a decent and smart person, though he seems to be in a hurry. It’s much more favourable than the existing politicians who pretend to be decent and do bad things in a straightforward manner.’
Another user wrote, ‘I’m a citizen of Chiba prefecture, but my life is difficult anyway, and I’ve been wondering if such a person could become the governor.’
While Takashi Tachibana, of the Crush NHK and Judge Hiroshi Oshima Party, isn’t running, there are other, more normally-dressed candidates bidding for office.
However, Kawai does have serious points to make. In response to the ‘just a cold’ claim, he urged how masks can help with other seasonal bugs, not just COVID-19. During a speech, he said, ‘Just getting colds is not pleasant.’
When interviewed by Tokyo Sports and quizzed on his appearance, he explained, ‘Since the clown is kind of a dark hero, I had this impression that I could get the support of the masses.’
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