Since I was a child, I have been fascinated by Japanese culture. So when I learned that representatives of the Japanese Conservative Union, the Japanese equivalent to the American Conservative Union, would be attending CPAC, I knew an interview had to be conducted.
Jay H. Aeba (Chairman of the JCU) spoke with my colleague on Saturday about conservatism in Japan and how American conservatives could partner with counterparts around the globe.
Aeba is the chairman of JCU, which was founded in 2015. He has also served as an advisor for the Republican National Committee and has written many best-selling books. Aeba even invented the term Trump Revolution!
Aeba told me that the JCU’s first priorities are to achieve true independence for Japan and to spread prosperity. The JCU also aims to spread this prosperity across Asia and the world. Japanese conservatives want to create a movement that increases prosperity in the same way as American conservatives.
Aeba told me the JCU and the other Japanese conservatives were fighting Chinese hegemony, and trying to end expansionism.
Aeba told me that the characteristics of a Japanese conservative are patriotism and love of country. She also wanted to project a positive image of Japan. Liberty, individual responsibility, as well as property rights, are the three most important issues for Japanese conservatives.
These are the values that American conservatives and Japanese conservatives share, as well as the value of family. Aeba acknowledged that Japan’s self-defense is weak. However, he stated that they want Japanese society to be able to self-defense by strength and the ability of our country to defend ourselves by our own service.
Tradition and history are the two biggest differences between conservatives from Japan and the United States. Aeba reminded us that the United States is still a young country, with its own momentum. Japan’s unique culture is shaped by its 3,000-year-old history. These different histories and traditions influence how conservatives in each country approach these issues.
Aeba explained to me how American conservatives could help Japanese conservatives. He said that Japan is the only ally in freedom spreading and that American conservatives could help with that fight. American conservatives can help Japanese conservatives break down barriers of isolation by supporting Japan and highlighting the alliance.
Donald Trump, for example, said America First. Conservative leaders can also recommend Japan First. American support is a message that teaches liberty, self-responsibility, which is a very important message.
Aeba offered some encouragement and challenging messages when I asked him what messages he wanted for American conservatives.
He said that Americans have had an ongoing relationship with us for a long time, an organic one. ACU understands that conservatives must keep their eyes open for the rest of the world.
Aeba acknowledged that American conservatives can be contained in domestic tendencies but challenged American conservatives to acknowledge the global status of the United States.
He stated that the U.S. is a powerful country with a lot of influence around the world. Recognize the influence that the United States has on the world, and consider the alliances you have around the globe.
Aeba has been performing on stage at CPAC for seven consecutive years, and he draws a lot of inspiration from the many friendships he’s made.
He said that he is happy to have many conservative friends and allies around the world.