This book investigates Japanese politics in the postwar era from theoretical and comparative perspectives. After providing historical context, it offers an in-depth exploration of postwar political institutions, political reform in the 1990s, the policymaking process, and the politics of economic growth and stagnation. The author draws attention to key policy issues including women and work, immigration, Japanese aging/low fertility society, and Constitutional revision. By delving into Japan’s international relations, the book sheds light on Japan’s security and trade policies, Japan’s role in the Asian region, and Japan’s bilateral relations with the U.S., China, South Korea, and the EU. Themes and questions addressed throughout the text include: How and why did Japan modernize so successfully when so many other countries fell prey to colonialism and authoritarianism? What explains the Japanese economic miracle and its subsequent economic stagnation? What accounts for Japan’s successful democratization? In the international realm, why has Japan achieved economic superpower status without achieving political superpower status? What has or has not changed since the historic election of the Democratic Party of Japan in 2009, and why? What is the future trajectory of Japanese politics? Connecting Japan to larger themes in comparative politics and linking Japan’s history, institutions, policymaking process, and international relations to experiences and structures in other countries, this book is essential reading for any course on Japanese or Asian Politics.
The extensively revised edition of the well-known textbook originally published by Houghton Mifflin in 1963, this historical and comparative description of Japan's political institutions stresses the importance of the Chinese, European, and American models that have influenced constitutional changes.
The Japanese political system is a parliamentary democracy and was the first western style government in Asia when the parliamentary system was adopted in the 1880s. It has a multiparty system, free elections, and a parliament that functions much the same way that any other democratic parliament functions, however for much of its existence the Japanese party system has been dominated by one party. This fact is crucial to understanding contemporary politics in Japan, especially since the long term ruling party, the Liberal Democratic Party, is once again back in power. This book presents an up-to-date analysis of the political parties that make up the Japanese party system and their impact on Japanese politics and government. Given that the executive branch is selected as a result of the pattern of party numbers in the parliament, to understand Japanese politics and policy, one must first know the nature of the ruling and opposition parties and their leaders. Indeed, in the past decade the quality of Japan’s government has been closely associated with the strengths and weaknesses of Japan’s prime ministers and the dominant party in the system. This book focuses on a central question: why Japanese politics and government has been so dysfunctional in the past two decades? With this question in mind, the chapters provide key background information on Japanese politics and political parties; discuss each of the major political parties that have governed Japan since 1955; and finally, examine the December 2012 House of Representatives elections that returned the LDP to power, and the differences between the First (1955-1993) and the Second Post War Party Systems (1993- ). Party Politics in Japan provides a comprehensive analysis of the past sixty years of Japanese party politics. As such, it will be of great interest to students and scholars of Japanese politics and Asian politics, as well as to those interested in political parties and political systems more broadly.
This widely used text is an even-handed, forthright attempt to explain the political life of Japan as well as the forces that shape it. It demystifies this complex society by explaining the historical background for modern Japan; the political process, its formal structure, the party system, and citizen participation; the social order and the domestic economy; and Japan's role in international politics with emphasis on U.S.-Japanese relations and the international economy. The revised and updated Third Edition covers the new ground of 1995-1999, a period during which Japan experienced extraordinary political and economic change.
Environmental issues stretch across scales of geographic space and require action at multiple levels of jurisdiction, including the individual level, community level, national level, and global level. Much of the scholarly work surrounding new approaches to environmental governance tends to overlook the role of sub-national governments, but this study examines the potential of sub-national participation to make policy choices which are congruent with global strategies and national mandates. This book investigates the emerging actors and new channels of Japan’s environmental governance which has been taking shape within an increasingly globalized international system. By analysing this important new phenomenon, it sheds light on the changing nature of Japan’s environmental policy and politics, and shows how the links between global strategies, national mandates and local action serve as an influential factor in Japan’s changing structures of environmental governance. Further, it demonstrates that decision-making competencies are shared between actors operating at different levels and in new spheres of authority, resulting from collaboration between state and non-state actors. It highlights a number of the problems, challenges, and critiques of the actors in environmental governance, as well as raising new empirical and theoretical puzzles for the future study of governance over environmental and global issues. Finally, it concludes that changes in the tiers and new spheres of authority are leading the nation towards an environmentally stable future positioned within socio-economic and political constraints. Demonstrating that bridging policy gaps between local action, national policy and global strategies is potentially a way of reinventing environmental policy, this book will be of interest to students and scholars of Environmental Studies, Environmental Politics and Japanese Politics.
The Routledge Handbook of Japanese Politics is an advanced level reference guide which surveys the current state of Japanese Politics, featuring both traditional topics and cutting edge research.
Changing Politics in Japan is a fresh and insightful account of the profound changes that have shaken up the Japanese political system and transformed it almost beyond recognition in the last couple of decades. Ikuo Kabashima-a former professor who is now Governor of Kumamoto Prefecture-and Gill Steel outline the basic features of politics in postwar Japan in an accessible and engaging manner. They focus on the dynamic relationship between voters and elected or nonelected officials and describe the shifts that have occurred in how voters respond to or control political elites and how officials both respond to, and attempt to influence, voters. The authors return time and again to the theme of changes in representation and accountability.Kabashima and Steel set out to demolish the still prevalent myth that Japanese politics are a stagnant set of entrenched systems and interests that are fundamentally undemocratic. In its place, they reveal a lively and dynamic democracy, in which politicians and parties are increasingly listening to and responding to citizens' needs and interests and the media and other actors play a substantial role in keeping democratic accountability alive and healthy. Kabashima and Steel describe how all the political parties in Japan have adapted the ways in which they attempt to organize and channel votes and argue that contrary to many journalistic stereotypes the government is increasingly acting in the "the interests of citizens"-the median voter's preferences.
This revised and enlarged edition brings the successful original volume of 1984 right up to date, taking into account the most recent developments. Each section begins with an introduction that provides the context for the following documents. There is no comparable volume of its kind available in English, and most documents have not previously been translated.
This introduction to life and culture in Japan presents a captivating portrait of the island nation, home to 127 million people and one of the most robust economies in the world. * A detailed historical account takes the reader on a narrative journey from the rise of the Jomon culture some 13,000 years ago to the economic downturn of the 1990s and subsequent recovery * Includes an annotated bibliography and a wide variety of images
This widely used text is an even-handed, forthright attempt to explain the political life of Japan as well as the forces that shape it. It demystifies this complex society by explaining the historical background for modern Japan; the political process, its formal structure, the party system, and citizen participation; the social order and the domestic economy; and Japan's role in international politics with emphasis on U.S.-Japanese relations and the international economy. The revised and updated Third Edition covers the new ground of 1995-1999, a period during which Japan experienced extraordinary political and economic change.
Shinoda provides an analytical framework for examining the role of the prime minister in Japan's political decision making. Although the conventional view of Japanese politics is that the bureaucracy and the ruling party are strong, Shinoda argues that the prime minister plays a pivotal role for major policies.
Hawai?i is in many ways the most unique of the American states. Distinguished by its unusual beauty, ethnic diversity, and lingering image as a paradise, Hawai?i is special for other important, but less apparent, reasons. It is the only American state to have evolved from a kingdom, the only state with no jurisdictions below the level oføcounty, the only state in which Caucasians have never been in the majority, and the only state whose historic identity and contemporary relationships are as much with Asia and the Pacific as with the rest of the United States. The nature and trajectory of Hawaiian politics spring from the interaction of these unique elements with more traditional American cultural practices, institutions, and political processes. Also shaping past and present politics are multiple collisions among Native Hawaiians, western missionaries and businessmen, and Asian immigrants. Hawai?i Politics and Government brings together information on historical development, ethnic relations, public institutions, political culture, and current issues to discover both the similarities and the differences between Hawai?i and the rest of the country.
Widely recognized both in America and Japan for his insider knowledge and penetrating analyses of Japanese politics, Gerald Curtis is the political analyst best positioned to explore the complexities of the Japanese political scene today. Curtis has personally known most of the key players in Japanese politics for more than thirty years, and he draws on their candid comments to provide invaluable and graphic insights into the world of Japanese politics. By relating the behavior of Japanese political leaders to the institutions within which they must operate, Curtis makes sense out of what others have regarded as enigmatic or illogical. He utilizes his skills as a scholar and his knowledge of the inner workings of the Japanese political system to highlight the commonalities of Japanese and Western political practices while at the same time explaining what sets Japan apart. Curtis rejects the notion that cultural distinctiveness and consensus are the defining elements of Japan's political decision making, emphasizing instead the competition among and the profound influence of individuals operating within particular institutional contexts on the development of Japan's politics. The discussions featured here -- as they survey both the detailed events and the broad structures shaping the mercurial Japanese political scene of the 1990s -- draw on extensive conversations with virtually all of the decade's political leaders and focus on the interactions among specific politicians as they struggle for political power. The Logic of Japanese Politics covers such important political developments as • the Liberal Democratic Party's egress from power in 1993, after reigning for nearly four decades, and their crushing defeat in the "voters' revolt" of the 1998 upper-house election; • the formation of the 1993 seven party coalition government led by prime minister Morihiro Hosokawa and its collapse eight months later; • the historic electoral reform of 1994 which replaced the electoral system operative since the adoption of universal manhood suffrage in 1925; and • the decline of machine politics and the rise of the mutohaso -- the floating, nonparty voter. Scrutinizing and interpreting a complex and changing political system, this multi-layered chronicle reveals the dynamics of democracy at work -- Japanese-style. In the process, The Logic of Japanese Politics not only offers a fascinating picture of Japanese politics and politicians but also provides a framework for understanding Japan's attempts to surmount its present problems, and helps readers gain insight into Japan's future.
This pioneering study of United States direct investment in Japan will interest academic specialists, business managers, and government policymakers in America, Japan, and elsewhere. Drawing on rich historical materials from both sides of the Pacific, including corporate records and government documents never before made public, Mason examines the development of both Japanese policy towards foreign investment and the strategic responses of American corporations. This history is related in part through original case studies of Coca-Cola, Dow Chemical, Ford, General Motors, International Business Machines, Motorola, Otis Elevator, Texas Instruments, Western Electric, and Victor Talking Machine. The book seeks to explain why s little foreign direct investment has entered modern Japan. In contrast to the widely held view that emphasizes an alleged lack of effort on the part of foreign corporations, this study finds that Japanese restrictions merit greater attention. Many analysts of the modern Japanese political economy identify the Japanese government as the key actor in initiating such restrictions. Mason finds that the influence of Japanese business has often proved more potent than these analysts suggest. This book offers fresh insights into both the operation of the modern Japanese political economy and of its relations with the world economy.
Offers a grassroots perspective and holistic understanding of Japan's democratization process and what it means for the nation today.
Decentralized policymaking power in Japan had developed under the reign of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), yet in the1990s, institutional changes fundamentally altered Japan's political landscape. Tomohito Shinoda tracks these developments in the operation of and tensions between Japan's political parties and the public's behavior in elections, as well as in the government's ability to coordinate diverse policy preferences and respond to political crises. The selection of Junichiro Koizumi, an anti-mainstream politician, as prime minister in 2001 initiated a power shift to the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) and ended LDP rule. Shinoda details these events and Prime Minister Koizumi's use of them to practice strong policymaking leadership. He also outlines the institutional initiatives introduced by the DPJ government and their impact on policymaking, illustrating the importance of balanced centralized institutions and bureaucratic support.
Modern Japanese political history has been eventful, as Japan transformed from a decentralized feudal regime into a nation state which seemed to be following a Western pattern of modernisation until the 1930s. This volume explores the changes in the political process behind these developments.

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