The Institutional Boundaries of Citizen Activism
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.
Consumer Politics in Postwar Japan is likely to prove a classic study of Japanese policymaking.... Maclachlan's work [is] excellent. It is rigorous and systematic in the tradition of the best social science without doing unnecessary violence to the complexity of political reality.... Specialists will find Maclachlan's book useful, but students at most levels will also be able to read it.
Robin M. LeBlanc
Part 1: Japanese Consumer Advocacy from Theoretical, Comparative, and Historical Perspectives
1. Toward a Framework for the Study of Consumer Advocacy
2. Consumer Advocacy in the United States and Britain
3. The Politics of an Emerging Consumer Movement: The Occupation Period
5. The Post-1968 Consumer Protection Policymaking System and the Consumer Movement's Response
4. Consumer Politics Under Early One-Party Dominance: 1955 to the Late 1960s
7. The Right to Safety: The Movement to Oppose the Deregulation of Food Additives
6. The Right to Choose: The Movement to Amend the Antimonopoly Law
9. The Right to Be Heard: The Past, Present, and Future of the Japanese Consumer Movement
8. The Right to Redress: The Movement to Enact a Product Liability Law
Part 2: Case Studies: The Impact of Japanese Consumer Advocacy on Policymaking