Contemporary Japanese Politics

Institutional Changes and Power Shifts

Tomohito Shinoda

Columbia University Press

Contemporary Japanese Politics

Google Preview

Pub Date: September 2013

ISBN: 9780231158534

352 Pages

Format: Paperback

List Price: $32.00£25.00

Pub Date: September 2013

ISBN: 9780231158527

352 Pages

Format: Hardcover

List Price: $90.00£70.00

Pub Date: September 2013

ISBN: 9780231528061

352 Pages

Format: E-book

List Price: $31.99£25.00

Contemporary Japanese Politics

Institutional Changes and Power Shifts

Tomohito Shinoda

Columbia University Press

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.
The Japanese political system has often seemed impervious to change and impenetrable to outsiders. Shinoda offers clear and convincing evidence that, from the Koizumi landslide of 2001 to the Abe landslide of 2012, profound institutional changes have altered the political landscape and have permitted a new balance of power among effective political leaders, the bureaucracy, and interest groups. His book is a must read for anyone interested in Japan and democratic governance. George R. Packard, President, the U.S.–Japan Foundation
Changes in Japan's political environment over the last decade make for a unique and important study. Shinoda analyzes how these reforms introduced new power dynamics within Japanese governance and correctly notes that 'institutions do not produce leadership, they only enable it.' An excellent reference of Japan's political environment, governance, and leadership today. Richard L. Armitage, Former Deputy Secretary of State
List of Figures and Tables
Acknowledgments
A Note on Conventions
List of Abbreviations and Japanese Terms
Introduction
1. Japanese Politics Under the LDP
2. The Politics of Institutional Reform
3. Institutional Changes and Koizumi's Leadership
4. Electoral Changes and Their Impact
5. Hatoyama's Antibureaucratic Stance
6. Kan's Struggle in the Government and the DPJ
7. Institutions and Political Leadership
Appendix 1
Appendix 2
Notes
Bibliography
Index

Read the introduction:

About the Author

Tomohito Shinoda is professor of international relations at the International University of Japan. His publications include Koizumi Diplomacy: Japan's Kantei Approach in Foreign and Defense Affairs and Leading Japan: The Role of the Prime Minister.