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Japan: Politics Outline Political institutions parliamentary system of government National Diet Prime Minister and Cabinet bureaucracy Judiciary Parties and elections National Diet House of Councillors (Upper House) House of Representatives (Lower House) choose prime minister

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Presentation Transcript
outline
Outline
  • Political institutions
    • parliamentary system of government
    • National Diet
    • Prime Minister and Cabinet
    • bureaucracy
    • Judiciary
  • Parties and elections
national diet
National Diet
  • House of Councillors (Upper House)
  • House of Representatives (Lower House)
    • choose prime minister
    • pass budget
    • ratify treaties
prime minister cabinet
Prime Minister & Cabinet
  • All are members of the Japanese National Diet
  • Most are members of the House of Representatives
prime minister
Prime Minister
  • Yukio Hatoyama (1947- )
  • Prime Minister since yesterday
  • founder of the Democratic Party
  • family’s political and economic power
    • Grandfather was Prime Minister 1954-1956
  • assumed father’s seat in the House

of Representatives in 1986

slide10
LDP
  • All Prime Ministers of Japan
  • from 1954 to 1993
  • from 1996 to 2009
  • were from LDP
the bureaucracy
The Bureaucracy
  • Heavy involvement in policymaking:
    • draft legislation (short and vague laws)
    • implementing or enforcing legislation
  • Recruit the best of college graduates
  • ``Prime Ministers come and go, but we are forever”

- A Japanese bureaucrat

local government
Local government
  • Not a federal system:
    • local authority delegated by central gov.
    • 47 prefectures
      • governors and legislatures
    • hundreds of municipalities
      • mayors and city councils
  • 2/3 of all government spending
  • 1/3 of all tax revenues
party systems before 92
Party Systems before \'92
  • Combination of multiparty system with sustained dominance of 1 majority party
  • Chaotic political party system 1946-55
    • 2 conservative parties, 2 socialist parties, communist party, & micro-parties
  • Party merges in 1955
  • “One-and-a-Half Party System”
major political parties
Major Political Parties
  • Liberal Democratic Party (LDP)
    • conservative catch-all party
  • Japan Socialist Party (JSP)
    • “Japan Peace Party”
  • Japan Communist Party (JCP)
    • anti-emperor, anti-capitalism, anti-military
    • only party untainted by money politics
the iron triangle
The Iron Triangle

bureaucrats

big business

executives

LDP politicians

political earthquake of 93 95
Political Earthquake of \'93-\'95
  • Economic stagnation since late 1980s
  • Major corruption scandals of LDP leaders
    • 2.5 billion yen contribution from a company
    • 1 billion yen income tax evasion
  • LDP Diet members split and some left to form new parties
  • LDP coalition cabinets since 1996
prime ministers 1993 2007
Prime Ministers 1993-2007
  • non-LDP Prime Ministers 1993 - 1996
  • LDP coalition cabinets 1996-2007
new electoral rules 1996
New Electoral Rules (1996)
  • 480 members in House of Representatives
    • 300 elected from single-member districts
    • 180 elected from 11 proportional representation districts
  • 252 members in House of Councillors
    • 100 elected from proportional representation district
    • 152 elected from 47 prefecture constituencies
japan s international role
Japan’s International Role
  • Yoshida Doctrine (pre-1980s)
    • political-economic cooperation with U.S.
    • small national defense expenditure
    • security guaranteed by U.S. (military bases)
  • Low-profile foreign policy
  • Trade policy
  • Economic superpower (1980s)
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