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With Tomio Okamura about his dreams, women, luxury, but also about his son who does not care for the expensive stuff and buys second-hand clothes...

Fast confession - Tomio Okamura: Planning a trip into the universe

27.Jun 2017
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6 minutes to read

One would say that he will enjoy fast cars. He says he has renounced his luxury cars, drives his seven-year-old Skoda, prefers a career to women, and instead of looking for love, he is interested in making a trip to the universe. But in an interview for Luxury Prague Life, he also talked about why his son is not interested in money and prefers second-hand fashion.

Everybody knows you as a politician. What do you like to do in your free time?

All my working life I do only things that I enjoy. Basically, I do not do any activity that would not be my hobby. Even my business is what I enjoy. I also do politics because I like to promote direct democracy. In short: Politics are my hobby. Unlike the vast majority of politicians, I’m not dependent on this income as is evidenced by my official tax returns. I dedicate all my time to politics and only when I decide to devote myself to something else, I will take some time off for my other hobbies, but very little. I’m going to the gym three times a week for half an hour. That seems to me as an optimal maximum. I’m also involved in the shooting club. Our coach is David Kostelecký.

How do you relax? Actively or passively?

I do not need to rest because everything I do is what I want to do and it is not about that I have to do it. I’m not tired. Everyone who knows me knows that every day, including weekends, I go to bed at three o’clock in the morning and get up again at eight. Basically, I’m never physically tired. I do not go to the gym until eleven in the evening. Any time that I have some time gap, I’m already thinking about what to do next. Last winter, I asked a doctor how it is possible that I do not need to sleep at all and I’m still full of energy. The doctor analysed me and then told me that I had a higher testosterone level than normal, which, fortunately, is still a healthy condition.

Luxusní byt na prodej, Praha 7- Bubeneč - 150m
Luxusní byt na prodej, Praha 7- Bubeneč - 150m, Praha 7

Is there any sport that you have never tried, but that you would like to try?

Probably not. I tried almost everything, that is with the exception of skydiving. I’m afraid that my parachute might not open. I’m also taking care of myself a bit more since now we are facing the elections. For example, I have inline skates, but I’m not going to use them now, because if I get hurt, my whole campaign would be disrupted. I am also not going to do any boxing now. In the 1980’s I was boxing in the first junior league. I started when I was thirteen and continued for about five years. Rosťa Osička trained me at the Prague Coal Stores; this was still during the communist era. Maybe I would enjoy it today and Rosťa also tells me that I should go and box, but physically it is very demanding. The damage from the boxing is minimal. Most injuries of course are from football and hockey. What sports do you think I should try?

Bungee jumping?

Well, no, no, no. Jumping from somewhere does not even seem like a sport to me.

I jumped and it was such an adrenaline buzz...

Exactly. I like action sports but I have to really train myself in them, not just a jump and that is all.

I was also thinking about fencing.

Well, I didn’t try it! Perhaps here is not the right environment for it. I didn’t try the archery either.

And what about hunting women? Do you hunt or are you hunted?

I’m single and am fully focussed on my own goals. I have one love and that’s my job. My son is 22 years old, studying at the university and I am proud of him. How does it actually manifest when someone hunts someone else?

For example, when you are in a bar and you see a nice woman, do you start chatting with her or do you wait for her to come to you?

I’m not going anywhere. (Laughs) As part of my campaign I visit various discos, but then I’m surrounded by perhaps ten people. I never go there alone. It is true that women do write to me. I have been given phone numbers several times, which I appreciate and I always want to thank the person involved. I think it’s nice, but I continue to keep going because another work programme is waiting for me that is very important for me. Until the 21st October all of my weekends are busy.

You said you were single. Do you have any ideal woman with whom you would want to be?

Sure! First, she must be kind. I’ll be 45 years old and basically I am an older person. I already know that I really need a kind woman. This is an absolute priority for me. What does one have if she’s a model, but she is not kind? That’s just torture. It doesn’t bring me anything at all.

You have a son. Do you interest him in politics?

No, he has complete freedom. He is filming something every day and he enjoys that. He has his profession and he has his studies. (Editorial note: he studies at the film school and he is fully engaged in that.)

Would you like more children?

Do you know that I do not even think about it? Children are fine and I love them. I would like to have a big family but I did not spent enough time with my son because I was still working. I started out as a dustman and then I spent three and a half years in the snack bar of a cinema. I’ve always worked hard and saved a lot. When I started my own business at the age of 21, I had so much work from morning till night that my son grew up while seldom really seeing me. I drove him to school, but then I didn’t come back before it was night. Now this seems sad to me. I would like to be with him, but he is already an adult who has his own personal life and a wonderful, lovely girlfriend with whom he lives.

Are you forbidding him from doing something?

No. We see each other once a month at lunch. He is very well-behaved and even humble. I taught him that. All the clothes that he has are second hand and his other things are old and shabby and he does not want to have anything expensive. That is what he learned. I myself drive a seven-year-old Skoda. I used to have better cars before, but I do not enjoy it anymore. I find it useless. It makes me happier when people support the concepts of direct democracy. That’s something that you cannot buy.

Is there something you have not yet bought, i.e. you dream about it but you still do not have it?

No. As I said, I’ll be fifty soon. I would feel alone in a big house where there would be a problem with cleaning and I do not have a summerhouse. When would I go there anyway? The car was just a problem, so I’m glad to have a beaten-up Skoda. So I freed myself from futility. Twenty years ago I bought a nice watch and I keep it in a drawer because I found it was uncomfortable. It is best to be cool. I had such an intense childhood dream - I really wanted to win the Nobel Prize. However I found out that I would have to work for it all my life. I also wanted to win an Olympic Medal. Life is short, and in order to be successful in a specific field, I believe that I have to devote myself to it for cca. ten years. I started-out in tourism and then my political preparation lasted for ten years. I’m approaching an age where I only have time for two things – i.e. twice ten years.

And do you already know what you are going to do later on?

I have a thought and it is neither about politics nor about business. I would like to look-out into the universe; that I would like. All I can get is the Nobel Peace Prize, but people’s perception of me would have to change.

What do you understand as being “luxurious”?

Freedom. A whole range of other things can also be included. For example, nobody should enforce on us anything that we do not want. That’s why I’m still drafting a referendum law. This year alone they have already rejected it ten times. It is voted on at every meeting. For me it’s a luxury to enable people to decide what they want in regard to the crucial issues. I certainly do not see any luxury in financial affairs. I had two Aston Martins and I travelled around the world. Nevertheless the two cars were still broken; one of them I crashed and the other was sold even though I liked it. I know what it is like to drive luxurious cars. My work is international business, so every month I am abroad, but not as a politician and I stay in high-quality hotels. All of that is frustrating but it’s the standard bearer for my private work, which is tourism. This is not what I am looking for. It’s a luxury for me to be able make us all be nice to each other. That would be real luxury!

Fast confession:

As a child, who did you want to be?

A chef, a pilot or a surgeon.

Who should not stand for the presidency?

A person who does not care for the interests of the Czech Republic and the Czech nation, but still defends the interests of the European Union, for example; that I think represents a big mistake, i.e. he should be a patriot.

Favourite film?

I always liked both the book and the film Quo Vadis, because it seemed like a good story. Or I also liked Ivanhoe by Walter Scott. I’ve always liked the story of someone who was pushing for a certain idea, standing behind it despite any adversity and still fighting for his ideas; that I think is very nice.

Favourite book?

I always liked the books that I read when I was 15, 16, 17; they were about Mr. Honda and Mr. Matsushita, both of whom were founders of large Japanese companies. In the book they describe their peripeteia as they found it, how they failed, how they did not strive. I always liked these kinds of books.

A life motto?

I never thought about it, but maybe: “Do not do to others what you do not like.” That’s what my mum always told me.

What are you most afraid of?

I’ve already thought about that. I would most certainly be afraid if I were lying on a death-bed looking at my life and thinking that I had wasted it and I that I should have done everything differently.

Czech or foreign women?

It really does not matter.

Your sex symbol?

I never thought about it. I don’t have any distinct type. I like women in general.

Favourite car brand?

I drive Skoda.

What is it that you dislike about women?

I like people of every kind and you know that I’m not perfect either.

Who is the most embarrassing politician?

I had not thought about it, but I think it’s silly when people promise something to other people and then they do something else altogether.

What are you currently looking forward to the most?

I’m looking forward to the October election because I dedicate years of my work to this and I hope that we will be successful with our programme. I do everything I can to explain our programme to people and I hope that we will be supported by as many of them as possible. So I’m really looking forward to this October because it represents two years of work, and after that I’ll be able take a few days off.

Rebels or good girls?

All women are good. What I think is that a lot depends on the guy who is talking to them. I’m nice to women and basically it never happened to me that someone was not nice to me. I think it’s like what a guy gives a woman, that woman then returns it.

The biggest blunder in Czech politics?

Blunder? I don’t even know. As I said before, it seems to me that it is always silly when someone promises something to someone... I will give you an example, but it is of rather terrible shame and deceit. When four years ago the Social Democrats had as their major election promise that they would resolve the church restitution problem, and literally they lured hundreds of thousands of voters based on this, and they won the election and a second after that election was over they had forgotten about it. They then forgot about it completely and cleared it from their minds and that was the key topic 4 years ago. So I don’t know if it was a blunder, but it’s certainly a terrible scam and a terrible shock. The same was true 8 years ago when the Civic Democrats with TOP 09 promised, and they had it as major promise in their programme, that they would not increase the taxes. And the first thing they did after the election when they were in the government they increased the VAT rate. That is not something that would be negligible. These are absolutely essential issues that concern everybody. And the second after the election then they do it the other way. And probably many people do not even remember that.
The interviewed party is asking the editor:

One would be ashamed to ask... So how are you today?

I am glad then. And you look great!
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