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Consumer Politics in Postwar Japan: The Institutional Boundaries of Citizen Activism

Patricia L. Maclachlan

December, 2001
Paper, 270 pages,
ISBN: 978-0-231-12347-1
$28.00 / £19.50

Providing comparisons to the United States and Britain, this book examines Japan's postwar consumer protection movement. Organized largely by and for housewives and spurred by major cases of price gouging and product contamination, the movement led to the passage of basic consumer protection legislation in 1968. Although much of the story concerns the famous “iron triangle” of big business, national bureaucrats, and conservative party politics, Maclachlan takes a broader perspective. She points to the importance of activity at the local level, the role of minority parties, the limited utility of the courts, and the place of lawyers and academics in providing access to power. These mild social strategies have resulted in a significant amount of consumer protection.

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About the Author

Patricia L. Maclachlan is assistant professor of Asian studies and adjunct professor of government with the Center for Asian Studies at the University of Texas at Austin.

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