Tea Party Exports Movement to Ailing Japan

American activists called in to help Tokyo anti-tax movement organize.

By SHARE

The two-year-old Tea Party movement, already responsible for shaking up Washington and the 2012 presidential race, is taking its political revolution overseas, sought out by Japan's emerging anti-tax activists.

This weekend, the Keli Carender, the original Tea Party Patriot organizer, is meeting with members of Japan's official Diet and Tokyo's Tea Party members to map their path into a U.S.-styled protest group.

"They've taken the first step and it's really exciting to be there," Carender told Whispers. "Their message is very similar to ours."

The historic teaming of the Japanese and U.S. Tea Party movement is the latest evidence that the protest born in 2009 from American outrage over the "TARP" bank bailout and stimulus packages is being mimicked overseas by activists also upset with high taxes and unresponsive governments.

"They are very, very highly taxed," said Carender of the Japanese. "They have the same sort of complaints that we have." [See the month's best political cartoons]

Unlike the stormy protests in Greece and the Middle East, Carender plans to tell the Japanese activists to fight from within the system as the group has in the United States. "I will tell them that you can do this peacefully and within your system," she said.

In her role as a Tea Party diplomat, Carender is making history in just two short years. In February 2009, she created the first Tea Party group in Seattle. Now the Tea Party Patriots are the largest of the Tea Party groups, with 3,500 affiliated groups. [Check out a roundup of political cartoons on the Tea Party.]

The Tokyo Tea Party asked her fly to Japan to help them fight Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda planned increases in corporate and consumption taxes. Local Tea Party groups in the cities of Osaka and Nagoya have revolted against the two major political parties and some have defeated incumbents in a recent election. Carender is meeting with the mayor of Nagoya, a Tea Party supporter.

She will also give a keynote speech to the Tokyo Tea Party event in Japan's capital and speak with Diet members in an effort to promote collaboration among the various groups and push tea party principles.

Japan joins Italy and Australia as nations forming Tea Party movements. [See photos of Michele Bachmann.]

"We've had inquires from other nations," added Carender.

She said that it is inspiring for her group that the movements overseas have kept the "Tea Party" name, despite it's being directly related to the 1773 Boston Tea Party.

"Some people have made fun of that" overseas, she said. But each of the groups has related the historic event to their home-grown battle.

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