Taking with him the 3 million yen ($36,400) saved for his funeral, Ryokichi Kawashima bolted to a Tokyo city office three hours before the deadline for filing candidacy and became the oldest contender for Japan’s elections on Sunday.
“I just felt that now it was my turn,” the 94-year old said. “It occurred to me when I watched a TV debate between the major parties. I just couldn’t stand how fragmented and disorganized they have become. They have no grip on reality”.
Kawashima, an independent, self-financed and with his family as his campaign team, will represent the elderly in the lower house of parliament, Reuters reports. He is also campaigning with an anti-nuclear and anti-nationalist stance.
When asked about frayed relations with China, the war veteran responded: “I fought in the Sino-Japanese war for seven years and the Chinese helped me survive in the tough post-war years, so I know them well”.
“That whole dispute over the islands and talk that they will invade us is just pure fear-mongering. Their rulers may say such things, but I know they would never do anything like that”.