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Japanese Politics after Koizumi: Beginning of New-style Politics or End of the Regime? Rei SHIRATORI President Institute for Political Studies in Japan (IPSJ) Why so much different? Koizumi as a ‘Savior’ in the midst of decline of the LDP

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Japanese Politics after Koizumi:Beginning of New-style Politics or End of the Regime?

Rei SHIRATORI

President

Institute for Political Studies in Japan (IPSJ)



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Koizumi as a ‘Savior’ in the midst of decline of the LDP

  • Japanese Politics entered into the “Age of Coalition” since 1993

  • Strategic processes of the LDP to retain power for ever

    • Strategy of ‘Pendulum’

    • Recruitment of Independents to be LDP members

    • Dependence on organizations (Industrial Associations, Agricultural Cooperatives

    • Coalition government

    • Dependence on popular political leaders in elections

  • Result and danger of dependence on popular leaders


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Secret Keys of Koizumi’s Popularity’ (1)

  • Koizumi is not a simple ‘Populist’

  • Political Environment of Koizumi’s coming-up

    • Prolonged stale-mated situation since the collapse of Japanese economy in 1990

    • Anti-professionalism and anti-’Nagatacho’ feeling among the electorate

    • Expectance of the appearance of ‘fresh’ and ‘strong’ political leader

  • Koizumi as ‘Periphery Politician’ in the LDP regime


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Secret Keys of Koizumi’s‘Popularity’ (2)

  • Importance of the ‘legitimacy of power’

    • Mr. Mori’s illegitimate succession of Prime Minister’s position

    • Koizumi was elected to be President by popular voting of the members of the LDP (Compare with cases of Nakasone, and Takeshita)

  • Koizumi consciously exploited his legitimate base of power


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Secret Keys of Koizumi’s‘Popularity’ (3)

  • Emergence of “Diamond-shaped Society” in advanced countries (See, the figure in the next slide)

    • Change of Japanese society from “Triangular Society” into “Diamond-shaped Society”

    • ‘Poor Mass’ is now minority

    • Uncertainty of the future economic situation in Japan

    • ‘Egoistic Middle-class’ occupies the majority

  • Problems of democracy in “Diamond-shaped Society”

    • How we can establish ‘social justice’ through democratic government



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Nature and result of Koizumi’s ‘Popular Politics’

  • Fundamental nature of Koizumi’s policies

    • Always stand on the majority-side:Advocate ‘Change’ but never try to destruct ‘Large Vested Interests’

    • Subordinate political decisions to the ‘Logic of Economy’

    • Government became ‘Profit-oriented Private Business Corporation’

    • Koizumi’s way of thinking is contrary to Japanese traditional culture

  • Result of Koizumi’s ‘Popular Politics’

    • Increase of vertical and horizontal ‘disparity’

    • More burdens are on the shoulder of the weak (Old people, poor people, agricultural sectors, peripheral areas, and local governments)

  • How should be the relation of ‘Politics’ toward ‘Economy’ ?





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Why the LDP could achieve the overwhelming victory in 2005? cabinet (3)

  • Popularity of Prime Minister Koizumi

  • Concentration toward single issue, i.e. “Privatization of Postal Services”

  • Influence of terrorism

  • Emergence of “Single-issue voters” and “Ad hoc Parties”


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“Single-Issue Voters” cabinet (3) and“Ad hoc Parties”

  • Emergence of “Single-issue voters”

    • Frequent splits and merges of parties

    • Influence of the “Age of Coalition”

    • Voters cannot follow the quick change of politics

    • Voters pick-up “Single-issue” in their voting

  • Emergence of “Ad hoc Parties”

    • Loss of the solid basis of supporters (Change of attitudes of farmers and trade union members)

    • Accelerating speed of the change of society

    • Parties cannot stick to the election promises after the election

    • Political parties exist only for the victory in election in the “Age of Coalition”

  • Can democracy be responsible in this situation?


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“Historic Defeat” of the LDP in Upper House election in July 2007

  • Existence of “Single-issue Voters” and ‘Pension Problem’ as the single-issue

  • Misinterpretation of the victory by the LDP in the Lower House election in 2005

  • Impact of the electoral system on the result of election

  • Characteristics of Japanese bi-cameral parliament



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‘The Beginning of New Style Politic’ July 2007or‘End of the Regime’?

  • Fukuda’s effort to establish ‘Grand Coalition’

  • Existence of ‘Two Third Majority’ in the House of Representatives

  • The only solution is the change of government from LDP to DPJ?

  • The impact of the arrest of chief secretary to Mr. Ichiro OZAWA


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Is re-alignment of Japanese party system possible and probable?

  • Re-alignment of Japanese party system ahead?

  • Is it the split of LDP or split of DPJ?

  • Why not re-alignment of Japanese party system?

  • Democracy with “Single-issue Voters” and “Ad hoc Parties” in Japan?


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No more entropy in Japanese politics probable?

  • Can Aso dissolve the House of Representative?

  • Can DPJ acquire the absolute majority in coming election of the House of Representatives?

  • What will be the policy orientations of the DPJ government?


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Two testimonies probable?

  • “No more split of the LDP” - Mr. Yoshimi Watanabe(2009.01.08)

  • “Prime Minister should dissolve the HR in May, but he will not” - Mr. Makoto Koga(2009.03.24)


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Public opinion after the arrest of the first official secretary of Mr. Ozawa (Asahi News Paper 2009.03.07~08 & 02.19~20)


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Thank you very much secretary of Mr. Ozawa

Rei Shiratori


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