MFJ Lunch Seminar - Japanese Economy and Society : Who are the New Liberals in Japan?

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Who are the New Liberals in Japan?

Mr. Hashimoto shall present the result of an analysis based on the Fourth Social Survey conducted by the International Institute for Social Trends at Synodos in 2020. Since the second survey, we have used a statistical method called “latent class analysis” to explore the characteristics of the new liberals in Japan. While the old liberals in Japan are strongly against any amendment of Article 9 of the Constitution, the new liberals are not.

The new liberals are more likely to be women and to have college or graduate degrees. The new liberals rarely engage in political action. They tend to trust a variety of people. They are more likely to say that local communities and volunteer/ non-profit organizations should be responsible to cope with various social issues. The new liberals are particularly interested in women’s issues, poverty, and environmental issues. The new liberals are more concerned about the elderly and health care issues. These are some of the results of our analysis.


Tsutomu Hashimoto is a Professor of Hokkaido University and the president of the Synodos Institute of the International Studies in Japan. Tsutomu has got a Ph.D. in Tokyo University, and has published a number of books in Japanese; Principles of Freedom (Iwanami shoten 2021), The Minimalist Ethics of Consumption and the Spirit of De-Capitalism (Chikuma-shobo 2021), Decoding Max Weber (Kodansha 2019), Conditions of Empire (Kobundo 2008), The Lost-Modernity (Kobundo 2013), Economic Ethics = What is your Ideology? (Kodansha 2009) and so forth. He has been constructing his original normative theory of liberalism, what he calls “spontanietism”, based on a Hayekian perspective. At the same time, he has managed survey studies for many years on the rising middle class with a new liberal consciousness in Japan.

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