Novelist, television writer, and YouTuber Hyakuta Naoki (百田尚樹) 67, and journalist Arimoto Kaori (有本香) 62, took to X (formerly known as Twitter) on September 1st to announce the beginning of their new political party–––The Conservative Party of Japan, or Nihon-Hoshu-Tō (日本保守党) in Japanese.
Now, they have a larger following on X than any other political party in Japan. On Monday, September 18th, the account surpassed 270 thousand followers–––20 thousand more than the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP).
But mainstream Japanese media outlets are not giving it much coverage…yet.
“Most major newspapers seem to be waiting to see whether they should even take it seriously,” says Jake Adelstein, Unseen Japan special correspondent and bestseller author of Tokyo Vice.
Finger-pointing in the news
The Sankei Shimbun’s evening paper Yukan-Fuji (夕刊フジ), along with its online website zakzak, are the only outlets reporting on Hyakuta and Arimoto’s emergent party. But Yukan-Fuji also happens to be where Arimoto has her own column–––idokuseidoku (以読制毒), or “Controlling Poison With Words.”
Yahoo! JAPAN, the country’s biggest online platform for news, has yet to release its own reportage on the Conservative Party of Japan.
At the time of writing, Yahoo! JAPAN has only said what Japanese media traditionally says with topics nobody wants to take the fall for–––we aren’t saying x, we’re just saying another newspaper said x. In this case, everything about the Conservative Party of Japan on Yahoo! JAPAN is copied and pasted from Yukan-Fuji.
Hyakuta – chronic bomb-thrower, masturbator
Hyakuta is prolific and controversial, to say the least.
But there’s more.
Born in Osaka, Hyakuta bashed in public attention from when he was a law student at the prestigious Doshisha University in Kyoto. While he was at school, he became a participant in the reality TV show Love Attack, where he also met his current wife.
Love Attack aired from 1975 to 1984. Five male participants would compete in obstacle courses and speed-eating games to win the right to propose to the show’s Princess Kaguya-hime (かぐや姫).
Hyakuta was a regular on the show, appearing in six seasons during his junior year.
After five years at Doshisha, Hyakuta dropped out and began his decades-long career as a television writer and novelist.
Hyakuta’s writing earned awards and fame. His Tweets, as they were called back in the Good Ol’ Days, earned a reputation that people would find very hard to take seriously.
“The founder of the Conservative Party is a blowhard narcissist who wrote a pulp novel glorifying the kamikaze, Eternal Zero, which was beloved by conservative darling and Japan’s Trump, Shinzo Abe. He bragged on Twitter that even at his advanced age he can still masturbate several times a day. We should see his political party as an extension of his desire for attention and to pleasure himself,” explains Adelstein.
A party by any other name…
Putting aside whether Hyakuta is a narcissist whose political party is undeserving of legitimate attention. The fact is, he initially named the new party after…himself.
Before September 13th, The Conservative Party of Japan was Hyakuta-Shinto (百田新党), or “Hyakuta New Party.” It was clear that Hyakuta-Shinto was only a temporary name that would only be in use until October 17th, the official release date for core details such as the party’s guiding principles.
A change of plans came after the founders saw their X following grow explosively.
“We will announce the party’s name early if we go over 200 thousand followers,” Hyakuta posted on X.
The post was uploaded on September 12th. Hyakuta continued to post hourly updates counting down the number of followers to 200 thousand.
Although it has gained a great deal of online attention already, The Conservative Party of Japan is not an official political party. It will remain just a name until it fulfills criteria such as having five or more sitting members of Parliament.
The Conservative Party of Japan’s stance on some topics has already been made clear in its X posts. Its first political statement was about Japan’s sanctions on North Korea.
On the same day that Hyakuta announced his party’s official name, North Korea launched two missiles in Japan’s direction. In response, Hyakuta’s party uploaded a post demanding that the Japanese government scale up sanctions against North Korea.
Other views, which in Arimoto’s column may read more personal than representative of a political party, express anti-LGBTQ sentiment and animosity towards the LDP.
The party’s anti-China narrative is hardly surprising. A look into Hyakuta’s past reveals his denial of the Nanjing Massacre.
In 2014, Hyakuda, whom Abe Shinzo (PM at the time) appointed as a committee member of NHK operations, said that “the Nanjing Massacre didn’t happen” during a public speech for a candidate running for the Governor of Tokyo. This caused a stir among public officials and media outlets.
What to read next
 圧巻の“自民超え”日本保守党のXフォロワー数、国内政党で１位に 開設わずか15日で大躍進 百田尚樹氏「歴史的だ」. Yahoo!ニュースJAPAN
 百田NHK委員の都知事選応援、波紋広がる. 日本経済新聞