The other day on the program “Poka Poka,” on which I serve as MC, the guest, former Governor of Miyazaki Prefecture, Mr. Hideo Higashikokuhara, said something that surprised me.
He said that I was “on a certain political party’s list of candidates. And he said that I was “about the second on the list. What? Me? I can’t even read Kanji properly, and I don’t have a serious image. And yet, “I’m right in the middle of the list in terms of age, background, views, and activities.
I had never been invited to enter politics before. But whatever the case may be, I am grateful to have been chosen. I was feeling good about it (I’m not so bad after all!) when I was asked during a commercial, “What would you do? If he really asks me out,” a co-star asked in a whisper. What? No, no, of course I would decline because it would be a nuisance to my husband’s business!” I answered impatiently, forgetting that we were talking about coddling. Then she asked, “Then what would you do if there were no such barriers?” He asked back. （What if there were no such barriers? You ask so intrusively?) (What? !!! You ask so intrusively? –) – I racked my brain and tried my best to come up with a logical reason for refusing the offer. However, I got lost along the way and gave a terse response, “Well, I don’t think they’ll take it, do they?” I replied, “Well, I don’t think they’ll accept it,” in a rather terse manner.
If what Mr. Higashikokuhara said was true, I had to gather my thoughts in preparation for the “X-day. That night, I thought about why I could not come up with any rationale or reason for my “refusal.
First, let’s look at my current situation. If I were to run for any office, my husband would have to take time off work during the entire election period. If a candidate’s relatives appear on TV or radio, they might recall me. It could lead to a vote. For fair and impartial election coverage, we must avoid that, and stations will refrain from having my husband on their programs. Thus, we arrive at “no thanks” because it would be inconvenient for my husband.
Then if I were single …… “Ah!” I suddenly remembered and a loud voice came out. I remembered that about a year ago, I received a line from a person who had sat with me at a blind date a long time ago. I had never contacted him since the blind date and had even forgotten he existed. I read only the opening line, “I would like to discuss something with you,” and when I searched for his name on the Internet, I found that he was a member of the Diet. (Oh, I remember him. I wondered if I had exchanged lines with this person. I’m already married, and it seems strange to ask for advice from a man I’m not close to. I mean, asking for advice after all this time, did he suddenly fall in love with me? (It’s impossible, but just in case, so I’m sorry, but I’m going to delete the line without reading it. Now that I think about it, maybe that was a consultation about running for office! X-Day became a reality, and I began to think about it more seriously.
Is that what “I” am?
Even if I were single and doing my current job, I am sure my days would be full. I didn’t want to be disrespectful to the people who had gone to the trouble of calling me, so I said, “No, thanks.
But wait a minute. If I am single and my current job no longer calls me, and my mother, who is a good friend of mine, has passed away,…… I would feel bored and depressed every day and wonder what the reason for my life is, and I would fall into a more and more negative spiral. If X-Day comes at such a time,…… “Thank you for making my life worth living!” I feel like it will be. This is it! The reason why the path to the “no thanks” answer didn’t go smoothly at that time. If all barriers were removed, the answer would be the opposite.
So, what is there that you want to accomplish by putting yourself out there for the people? (Hmmm…not ……). Is there anything that you just can’t help but think is wrong with politics? (hmmm – …… not so much). This is no good. This is no good. I can’t attract an audience with my street speeches, and I can’t make a manifesto. No, no, no, it’s impossible. Besides, would the political parties that have me on their candidate lists appreciate me being single and out of work? Aren’t they anticipating the votes of my husband’s fans? I’m sure they are! Oh no, no, no, that’s what you mean! I can see your soul is in it, you know!
For some reason, I felt like I had lost my heart and got angry, so I started watching Netflix to forget about it.
Born in 1980 in Kanagawa Prefecture. After graduating from Gakushuin University with a degree in mathematics, she joined NHK as an announcer in 2003, and left in 2012 to become a freelance announcer. Since then, she has been active mainly in variety shows, and currently makes regular appearances as the main MC of the daytime TV program “Poka Poka” (Fuji Television Network).
From the August 4, 2023 issue of FRIDAY
Text and illustrations by： Aika Kanda