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LN: Populist party leader’s brother to run for KDU-ČSL

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Prague, April 3 (CTK) – Hayato Okamura, 50, older brother of the Czech populist Freedom and Direct Democracy’s (SPD) leader, Tomio Okamura, 44, will run for the Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL) in the October general election, saying he would like to improve the family reputation, Lidove noviny (LN) reported yesterday.

The brothers, including the youngest Osamu, 43, have Czech-Japanese-Korean roots and they have lived in Prague since 1976. Their mother, who died five years ago, was Czech and the father came from Japan where he still lives.

Tomio Okamura, who previously headed the opposition Dawn party, takes anti-immigration, nationalist stances and he has also criticised the EU’s policy in this respect. His party staged protests against German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s visit to Prague last year.

On the contrary, his brother Hayato, who is a Catholic believer, was personally involved in the aid to Christian refugees from Iraq.

He is also a strong supporter of the European Union (EU) and integration.

“If the European Union ceased to exit, it would do no good to Czechs. Sooner or later, they would become victims of bigger, economically and militarily stronger countries,” Hayato Okamura told LN.

He said he would like to focus on international relations, migration, the environment and family issues in politics.

“I and the youngest brother Osamu are decently striving to purge our name,” Hayato said.

He admits that all three brothers have different political views, but they are one family.

“Osamu (an architect by profession) is a moderate liberal, he has mostly voted for the Greens… I am a Christian Democrat and Tomio is moving on the edge of the ultra right in my opinion,” he said.

Hayato Okamura studied theology and religious studies at Charles University in Prague and he works as an interpreter and guide of Japanese tourists. He married an Austrian woman with Czech-Ukrainian roots, whose family left Czechoslovakia for Austria in 1968 after the Soviet-led invasion, and they have five children.

He joined the junior government Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL) two years ago, LN writes.

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