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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Decentralized policy-making power in Japan had developed under the long reign of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP). In the1990s, institutional changes were introduced, fundamentally altering Japan's modern political landscape. Tomohito Shinoda tracks these slow yet steady changes to today in the operation of and tensions between Japan's political parties and the public's behavior in Japanese elections, as well as in the government's ability to coordinate diverse policy preferences and respond to political crises.Electoral reform in 1994 resulted in the selection of Junichiro Koiz...
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.
Japanese politics now, with seven prime ministers appointed within this decade and the second major political party turnover taken place within the last two decades, is undergoing a great transition. This book explores the gradual shift from what the editors call karaoke democracy to kabuki democracy.
Over the past two decades, China's political reforms, open-door policy, dramatic economic growth, and increasingly assertive foreign policy have had an unprecedented regional and global impact. This introductory textbook provides students with a fundamental understanding of government and politics in China as well as the conceptual ability to explore the general patterns, impacts, and nature of continuities and changes in Chinese politics. Further, it equips students with analytical frameworks by which they can understand, analyse and evaluate the major issues in Chinese politics, including: The basic methodologies and theoretical controversies in the study of Chinese politics. The major dimensions, structures, processes, functions and characteristics of the Chinese political system, such as ideology, politics, law, society, economy, and foreign policy. The impact of power, ideology, and organization on different spheres of Chinese society. The structure, process, and factors in Chinese foreign policy making. Whether China is a "strategic partner" or "potential threat" to the United States. By examining contending theoretical models in the study of Chinese politics, this book combines an essentialist approach that keeps focus on the fundamental, unique and defining features of Chinese politics and government with other theoretical approaches or analytical models which reveal and explore the complexities inherent in the Chinese political system. Extensively illustrated, the textbook includes maps, photographs and diagrams, as well as providing questions for class discussions and suggestions for further reading. Written by an experienced academic with working knowledge of the Chinese Government, this textbook will provide students with a comprehensive introduction to all aspects of Chinese Politics.
No country feels China's rise more deeply than Japan. Through intricate case studies of visits by Japanese politicians to the Yasukuni Shrine, conflicts over the boundaries of economic zones in the East China Sea, concerns about food safety, and strategies of island defense, Sheila A. Smith explores the policy issues testing the Japanese government as it tries to navigate its relationship with an advancing China. Smith finds that Japan's interactions with China extend far beyond the negotiations between diplomats and include a broad array of social actors intent on influencing the Sino-Japanese relationship. Some of the tensions complicating Japan's encounters with China, such as those surrounding the Yasukuni Shrine or territorial disputes, have deep roots in the postwar era, and political advocates seeking a stronger Japanese state organize themselves around these causes. Other tensions manifest themselves during the institutional and regulatory reform of maritime boundary and food safety issues. Smith scrutinizes the role of the Japanese government in coping with contention as China's influence grows and Japanese citizens demand more protection. Underlying the government's efforts is Japan's insecurity about its own capacity for change and its waning status as the leading economy in Asia. For many, China's rise means Japan's decline, and Smith suggests how Japan can maintain its regional and global clout as confidence in its postwar diplomatic and security approach diminishes.
Does democracy control business, or does business control democracy? This study of how companies are bought and sold in four countries - France, Germany, Japan and the Netherlands - explores this fundamental question. It does so by examining variation in the rules of corporate control - specifically, whether hostile takeovers are allowed. Takeovers have high political stakes: they result in corporate reorganizations, layoffs and the unraveling of compromises between workers and managers. But the public rarely pays attention to issues of corporate control. As a result, political parties and legislatures are largely absent from this domain. Instead, organized managers get to make the rules, quietly drawing on their superior lobbying capacity and the deference of legislators. These tools, not campaign donations, are the true founts of managerial political influence.
With little domestic fanfare and even less attention internationally, Japan has been reinventing itself since the 1990s, dramatically changing its political economy, from one managed by regulations to one with a neoliberal orientation. Rebuilding from the economic misfortunes of its recent past, the country retains a formidable economy and its political system is healthier than at any time in its history. Japan Transformed explores the historical, political, and economic forces that led to the country's recent evolution, and looks at the consequences for Japan's citizens and global neighbors. The book examines Japanese history, illustrating the country's multiple transformations over the centuries, and then focuses on the critical and inexorable advance of economic globalization. It describes how global economic integration and urbanization destabilized Japan's postwar policy coalition, undercut the ruling Liberal Democratic Party's ability to buy votes, and paved the way for new electoral rules that emphasized competing visions of the public good. In contrast to the previous system that pitted candidates from the same party against each other, the new rules tether policymaking to the vast swath of voters in the middle of the political spectrum. Regardless of ruling party, Japan's politics, economics, and foreign policy are on a neoliberal path. Japan Transformed combines broad context and comparative analysis to provide an accurate understanding of Japan's past, present, and future.
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.
In the past sixty years, relations between China and the United States have fluctuated wildly. Such divisive issues as human rights, the future of Tibet and Taiwan, trade imbalances, and illegal immigration have fueled intense debate over how the United States should deal with the most populous nation in the world. Nancy Bernkopf Tucker brings together a wide range of interviews on these and other issues, recorded by the Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training, with key players in the making and execution of U.S. policy towards China since World War II. Historical events usch as Nixon's trip to China, the Tiananmen Massacre, and the recurring Taiwan Straits crises come to life as never before. Portraits of the essential personalities in Sino-American relations emerge from the pages of China Confidential, including Mao Zedong, Henry Kissinger, Zhou Enlai, Ronald Reagan, Chiang Kai-shek, Chiang Ching-kuo, and Lee Teng-hui. This rich array of interviews provides the context for understanding the otherwise baffling diplomatic interaction between the United States and China, shedding light on the circumstances under which difficult and crucial decisions were reached and revealing the background and biases of the people who made and carried out those policies.
Globalization and the Politics of Institutional Reform in Japan illuminates Japan’s contemporary and historical struggle to adjust policy and the institutional architecture of government to an evolving global order. This focused and scholarly study identifies that key to this difficulty is a structural tendency towards central political command, which reduces the country’s capacity to follow a more subtle allocation of authority that ensures political leadership remains robust and non-dictatorial. Thus, Motoshi Suzuki argues that it is essential for a globalizing state to incorporate opposition parties and transgovernmental networks into policy-making processes. Providing an in-depth analysis of the theories of institutional change, this book introduces readers to a wealth of perspectives and counterarguments concerning analysis of political decision-making and policy adjustment on both the national and international scale. Placing Japanese policy reform in the global context and relating policy reform to leadership’s political strategies, the author gives a detailed chronological and analytical overview of Japan’s challenging institutional, political and bureaucratic transformations since the Meiji Restoration of the late nineteenth century. Analysis of globalization and policy reform in a non-liberal state, and the relationship between politicians and bureaucrats from an international perspective is included. For those interested in historical and contemporary Japanese politics from a theoretical perspective, particularly the implications of globalization and the politician–bureaucrat relationship, this is an indispensable resource.
Explains how the persistence of party institutions (factions, PARC, koenkai) and the transformed role of party leadership in Japan contributed both to the LDP's success at remaining in power for 15 years and its downfall.
Combining history with comparative politics, Matthew M. Carlson and Steven R. Reed take on political corruption and scandals, and the reforms designed to counter them, in post–World War II Japan. Political Corruption and Scandals in Japan makes sense of the scandals that have plagued Japanese politics for more than half a century and attempts to show how reforms have evolved to counter the problems. What causes political corruption to become more or less serious over time? they ask. The authors examine major political corruption scandals beginning with the early postwar period until the present day as one way to make sense of how the nature of corruption changes over time. They also consider bureaucratic corruption and scandals, violations of electoral law, sex scandals, and campaign finance regulations and scandals. In the end, Carlson and Reed write, though Japanese politics still experiences periodic scandals, the political reforms of 1994 have significantly reduced the levels of political corruption. The basic message is that reform can reduce corruption. The causes and consequences of political corruption in Japan, they suggest, are much like those in other consolidated democracies.
The old Japanese single-party system collapsed in 1993, but a new system has not yet fully evolved. Following the most significant party reform in Japanese history, this book analyses the most recent national elections, examining voter behaviour and how it is influenced. It provides a comprehensive overview of Japanese politics from 1955 to 1993 and a detailed historical study of events leading up to the 1996 and 2000 elections, before presenting statistical analysis of the elections themselves. The authors then look to the future, anticipating what form the new political system will take. Japanese Electoral Politics contains four very detailed case studies and a wealth of new data. It will appeal to students and researchers of Japanese politics and elections and electoral systems.
Reconstructing the dramatic struggle surrounding the building of the New Tokyo (Narita) International Airport near Sanrizuka, this scrutiny of modern protest politics dispels the myth of corporate Japan's unassailable success. In a broad adaptation of their findings, Apter and Sawa show that the problems of the Narita situation are also endemic to other industrialized countries. Their discussion of violent protest in advanced societies explores how it evolves, who is caught up in it, and the ways that governments respond.
Since the end of the 1960s, Japan’s power in the world has largely been linked to its economic successes, while it has pursued a decidedly pacifist post-war foreign policy. Recently, however, there has been talk of Constitutional reform, especially since the new security legislation of 2016. Coupled with the conservative tilt of the two Houses, there is evidence to suggest that Japan’s approach to exercising its power could be changing. Japan’s World Power therefore seeks to examine the nature of Japan’s power today, showing how the country’s influence on the global stage appears to be shifting from economic and financial, to more political and military. Featuring a team of Japanese international relations experts, each chapter analyses the different facets of Japanese power, evaluating both its current status and the challenges which lie ahead. Ultimately, however, this book demonstrates that despite recent developments and changes, the way in which Japan exercises its power remains decidedly different from other major powers as it continues to be guided by its pacifist identity. Providing a multi-faceted assessment of Japan’s power, as well as its weaknesses, this book will be useful to students and scholars of Japanese Politics, Asian Foreign Policy and Asian Politics in general.

Best Books