Description : 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.
Description : The second edition of this comprehensive study of recent Japanese history now includes the author's expert assessment of the effects of the earthquake and tsunami, including the political and environmental consequences of the Fukushima reactor meltdown. Fully updated to include a detailed assessment of the aftermath of the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami Shows how the nuclear crisis at Fukushima was an accident waiting to happen Includes detailed discussion of Japan's energy policy, now in flux after the mishandling of the Fukushima crisis Analyzes Japan's 'Lost Decades', why jobs and families are less stable, environmental policies, immigration, the aging society, the US alliance, the imperial family, and the 'yakuza' criminal gangs Authoritative coverage of Japanese history over the last two decades, one of the country's most tumultuous periods
Description : This book offers a timely examination of the role of trust – or lack thereof – in contemporary Japanese politics. It portrays the political trust deficit prevalent in Japan through a unique range of case studies, illustrating how mistrust, rather than trust, impacts politics in Japan today. The first chapter introduces key trust concepts and the state of trust research on Japan. The second analyses voters’ trust levels in politics and parties and explores possible consequences of prevalent mistrust, including electoral volatility and instability in the party system. The following case study investigates the government’s choices in rebuilding the Tohoku region, devastated by the ‘3/11’ triple disaster of earthquake, tsunami and nuclear reactor meltdown in 2011. It highlights how policies eroded already low trust levels among Japanese citizens in their government. The next chapter explores Japanese consumer trust in food safety and related regulations in post-3/11 Japan, finding deficiencies in the government’s risk communication. The fifth case study turns towards multiculturalism in educational policies and schooling practices, scrutinizing Japan’s readiness to face the challenge of trust-building between members of different ethnic groups. The final chapter illuminates the trust deficit in Japan’s relations with China, explaining how trust-building opportunities were missed in the past, leading to a continuous erosion of bilateral ties. The chapters originally published as a special issue in Japan Forum.
Description : Presenting a study of politics at grassroots level among young Japanese, this book examines the alliance between the religious movement Soka Gakkai (the 'Value-creation Society') and Komeito (the 'Clean Government Party'), which shared power with the Liberal Democratic Party from 1999 to 2009. Drawing on primary research carried out among Komeito supporters, the book focuses on the lives of supporters and voters in order to better understand the processes of democracy. It goes on to discuss what the political behaviour of young Komeito supporters tell us about the role of religious organizations, such as Soka Gakkai, in Japanese politics. Unlike most other books on politics in Japan which tend to concentrate on political elites, this book provides extremely valuable insights into political culture at the grassroots level.
Description : This book looks at the gendering of the political system in Japan and the effects of that system on gender equality in national-level politics specifically and wider society more generally. It examines the approach taken by the long-ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) to issues of gender equality in Japan, and the repercussions of that approach on women’s political experiences and representation. This book covers a range of themes including the role of the LDP and other major political parties in constructing the modern Japanese political system, the under-representation of women in Japanese politics, women’s experiences in party politics and the gendering of government policies. Using in-depth interviews with women members of the national Diet, the book sheds light on how political women negotiate the male-dominated world of Japanese politics.