94 Year Old Uses Money For His Own Funeral To Run For Office

94 year old election candidate Kawashima Ryoukichi

In the recent December 16th election, one minor independent candidate who ultimately only gained 1.1% of his ward’s votes, managed to attract the attention of the national and even international press. During an election where an increasing number of independent candidates stepped forward displaying their disillusionment with the leadership of both major sides, what sets Kawashima Ryoukichi apart from all the other independents is that at 94, he is the oldest candidate ever to run in Japan.

Though the LDP candidate Onaka Atsushi won the seat in Kawashima’s ward, his presence in the election highlights the emergence of a new demographic. While in many countries the young are campaigning for better political recognition, in Japan which is ageing faster than any other industrialized society the elderly are also starting to represent a separate political interest group.

From Ameba News:

A 94 Year Old Newbie Presents Himself For General Elections, Uses the Money For His Own Funeral Hope of Being Elected

[Tokyo 12th, Reuters] A general election will be held on the 16th. At 94, Kawashima Ryoukichi, who is running as an independent candidate in Saitama Ward 12, will be the oldest candidate in the election.

His reason for putting himself forward was that he could no longer stand the unstable political conditions where the established parties move at an uneven pace. ‘I was just watching TV one day and I found out that you could become a candidate on your own.’ He paid the 300 thousand yen deposit money with the money he had put aside for his own funeral. He rushed to submit the application only 3 hours before the deadline for announcing one’s candidacy, and because of this the lady at the office skeptically asked him if he was really serious about running.

94 year old Kawashima shows he is willing to fight in Japanese election

Though Kawashima’s wife and many of his friends have already passed away, he convened a family meeting and asked for support. He is not campaigning in the streets but he has put up posters he made announcing his public commitments, such as decreasing nuclear energy, on public notice boards.

Whilst Sino-Japanese relations cool and the Senkaku dispute becomes one of the most debated themes in the election, Mr. Kawashima, who fought for 7 years as a soldier during the second Sino-Japanese War, says ‘I lived through the harsh conditions of the post-war period and the Chinese helped me through it. I really understand them.’

As Japan increasingly becomes an ageing society, Mr. Kawashima has quite literally become the spokesperson for this in the election.

Comments from Ameba News:


It’s amazing that he tried so hard all on his own and used his own money to present his candidacy. What’s even more amazing is that his family supported him.


We need all Japanese citizens to have the same opinion as Kawashima. The LDP on its own is not good for Japan. The voting rate is going down and Japan is really unhappy.


Seems like Kawashima lost the election.


It’s amazing he has all that will power.


Awesome, old man!


I want to support people like that!


I’m from Saitama, and what’s more I live in the 12th ward. I did my part and went to vote and so? Saitama is a place where things like that are allowed to happen for sure (笑)


The elderly are not the ones who are gonna bring in a new era


Hmm…. Complicated…. Even if he does get elected he probably won’t be able to do much….


We should follow his example and turn our hopes into actions☆.


What is it with Saitama w some kind of NEETs (?) guy is also running ww


Amazing is the only word. Good luck for the election!


AWESOME www so cool www


Hmm… might not turn out well w


You can take on a challenge no matter your age!! Thanks for your courage grandpa (;▽;)


Oo! Amazing! p(^_^)q


Makes Ishihara, the 80 old year governor of Tokyo, look young.. He’s so brave and has so much willpower for a 94 year old but I hope his health is okay. I’m not in Saitama so unfortunately I can’t vote for him.


Chinese people saved his life by accident. I don’t think he know anything about the Chinese. But he is a good independent candidate! Good luck grandpa! If you were running in the ward I live in I reckon I’d vote for you


Emotionally, I respect how brave he is but an amateur with no political experience probably won’t be any good. Even if he was elected, the old guy would probably pass away before he could change the government.


During the Sino-Japanese war the truth is that there were people who were killed as well as people who were saved. I don’t think there’s only one side to blame, Well, that’s what I would like to say to China.

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