Granting foreign permanent residents the right to vote in local elections in Japan was one of the Clean Government Party (CGP)'s major policy priorities during its 11 years governing in coalition with the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP). While the CGP proposed several bills that would have done this, none of those bills came close to passing. Why not? Conventional wisdom about Japanese conservatism suggests that the LDP would not support such a bill because the party is uniformly committed to the idea that Japan is a one-ethnicity country, and thus the party is hostile to proposals that would grant those without Japanese ethnicity a role in Japanese society. However, I argue that Japanese conservatives in general, and LDP politicians in particular, have major disagreements about the appropriate role of foreign residents in Japanese society. Moreover, I argue that LDP politicians did not support the CGP's proposal to grant foreign permanent residents the right to vote in local elections in Japan because this proposal did not appeal to politicians from either of the dominant conservative schools of thought about foreign residents in Japan.