On a bypass road in Nishi-Tokyo City, Tokyo, a little far from the center of the city, there was a suspicious-looking man in black standing alone at an intersection with few pedestrians in the morning of early September. It was comedian Hidekazu Nagai (51). I’m sure of it! For some reason, he has a whiteboard hanging from his neck and keeps standing there in silence.
We rarely see him on TV programs these days, but what is he doing?
As a matter of fact, Nagai launched a political organization by himself in August this year and declared his intention to run for a city council seat in Nishi-Tokyo City. The election will be held in December next year. Isn’t it a little early to be running? This reporter approached him on the street.
Is he campaigning?
“It may be a little early, but I’ve only been living in Nishi-Tokyo for about three years, so I’m trying to get recognition by getting in touch with the citizens and listening to their voices.
What made you decide to run for office?
“There are needy people in my neighborhood who are suffering from the Corona disaster. There are people in need in my neighborhood who are suffering from the Corona disaster, and I felt firsthand that the city government is not reaching out to them.
What did you say about your agency, Titan?
“What did your office Titan say? Well, I’m neither supporting nor opposing him. Mr. Hikaru Ota of Bakusho Mondai? I haven’t seen him for about a year now, so I’m not sure. ……”
Nagai has been open about the fact that he is a member of the Soka Gakkai. Will he still run for the Komeito Party?
“I have been critical of the Soka Gakkai and the New Komeito Party in the past, so at present I can’t be approached. Even if I am approached, I will remain independent unless my policies match theirs.
Is he a bubble candidate or will he become the “eye of the storm” in the Nishi-Tokyo City Council election?
From the September 24, 2021 issue of FRIDAY
Reporting and writing by： Mizuho Takagi
Nonfiction writer. She is also the author of "Prostitution Island: A Report on Watakano Island, the Last Peachland.
Photography： Hiroyuki Komatsu