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Deutsches Institut für Japanstudien

Katharina Dalko

Japanese Studies, Political Science
(PhD Students, June 1, 2019 - November 30, 2019)

Research Interest: Populism and Nationalism, Japanese foreign and security policy, relation media and politics

(Working title and short description)

Right-wing populism in Japan – Communication strategy in the age of New Media

The media, as a mediator between politics and the people, has always played a key role in the research on political communication. The development of mass media, the ongoing mediatization of our society and the technological progress have caused constant changes in political communication strategies.

In light of the growing populist movements in recent years, the political influence through New Media has increasingly gained attention in the field of political science. Various studies found that populist strategies proved to be especially well adapted to the changing media landscape. Furthermore, media outlets in Europe and the US were even made partly responsible for the success of right-wing populist tendencies. At the same time, right-wing populist politicians were able to use social networks like Twitter or Facebook to their advantage.

Since the beginning of the 21st century the number of populist politicians in Japan, who can be characterized by a unique communication strategy, is also rising. Within the context of scientific research, however, the analysis of Japanese populism plays a rather subordinate role. Only limited research has been conducted on recent, right-wing populist movements in Japan and the relation between New Media and Japanese populism in particular is yet to be analyzed.

The present dissertation project will therefore research the role of New Media in the context of growing right-wing populism in Japan. For this purpose, findings of the theory of mediatization will be contrasted with characteristics of populist strategy in Japan. To further illustrate the influence of populist communication strategies, this project aims to analyze Japanese blogs using the digital analysis tool TopicExplorer.