Exploring the realities of japanese civil society and politics a comparative perspective
Sponsored Links
This presentation is the property of its rightful owner.
1 / 36

Exploring the Realities of Japanese Civil Society and Politics: A Comparative Perspective PowerPoint PPT Presentation

  • Uploaded on
  • Presentation posted in: General

Exploring the Realities of Japanese Civil Society and Politics: A Comparative Perspective. Yutaka Tsujinaka University of Tsukuba. 2008. Outline of the presentation. I. Introduction: India and Japan, and myself II. Puzzles on Japanese Politics III. Civil society in Japan

Download Presentation

Exploring the Realities of Japanese Civil Society and Politics: A Comparative Perspective

An Image/Link below is provided (as is) to download presentation

Download Policy: Content on the Website is provided to you AS IS for your information and personal use and may not be sold / licensed / shared on other websites without getting consent from its author.While downloading, if for some reason you are not able to download a presentation, the publisher may have deleted the file from their server.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - E N D - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Presentation Transcript

Exploring the Realities of Japanese Civil Society and Politics: A Comparative Perspective

Yutaka Tsujinaka

University of Tsukuba


Outline of the presentation

I. Introduction: India and Japan, and myself

II. Puzzles on Japanese Politics

III. Civil society in Japan

IV. Brief introduction of Surveys:

JIGS 1st and JIGS 2nd Rounds

V. A Comparison of CSOs: Formation, Composition, Target, Influence



I. Introduction: India and Japan


1) Brother Countries as Asia’s Leading Democracies since 1947

2) Similar Population density


1) Indian diversities and Japanese homogeneity of culture, ethnicity, language

2) Differences in Economic and social development within the society

Big brother India: Similar population density



Why are we different?

  • No easy answer, but today, let us focus on Civil Society Organizations (CSOs),

  • because CSOs are one of the most important causes of differences in both human capital (education) and social capital (human network, trust, reciprocity) in each country.

II. Puzzles on Japanese Politics

  • 1) Why LDP has been so strong since 1955.

  • 2) As for JPN’s gov’t, relatively small budget and very small public sector, but JPN’s gov’t has achieved a good performance for long.

  • Need Reservations

    • A) LDP is not so strong these days, esp. since House of Councilors election last year.

    • B) The small government is also related to big financial problem (worst in the world).

Puzzles on Japanese Politics (1):Why LDP has been so strong?

Puzzles on Japanese Politics (2)

Puzzle: Why JPN’s such a “small government” (PS as broad def) can perform well?

Why good performance?

  • No easy answer, but let us consider Civil Society Organizations (CSOs).

  • Because CSOs can contribute to the performance of government/LDP by

    • forming both human capital (education) and social capital (human network, trust, reciprocity), and

    • supplying those capitals to LDP supporter groups.





Civil Society





III. Civil Society in Japan: A Definition

  • Civil society consists of sustained, organized social activity that occurs in groups that are formed outside the state, market and family. (Susan Pharr 2003:vii)

Civil society organization in JPN:Institutional Perspective (1)

Civil society organization in JPN: Institutional Perspective (2)

  • We have examples (pictures) of each category of CSOs here. Please see the appendix of this power point file.

  • Later, we will discuss the characteristics of JPN’s CSOs.

The Meaning and Connotation of civil society in Japan (1): long history

  • The term “citizen”:

    (first translated by Yukichi Fukuzawa)

  • Origins of civil society organizations

    Many has their predecessor in the Edo Era

  • Waves of democratization since Meiji rev.

    Freedom and People’s Rights Movement

    Taisho/Showa democracy

    Post-war democratization

The Meaning and Connotation of civil society in Japan (2): recent situation

  • The emergence of NGOs and NPOs

    1980s: NGOs

    1990s: NPOs (enactment of NPO law)

  • The rise of Volunteers and Civil Society

    1995: Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake

  • Civil society in Japan: Different from Western understandings (“Members without advocacy,” R. Pekknanen 2006.)

Why civil society is important: The Global Context

  • Democratization

    • The Third Wave: Samuel Huntington (1991)

    • Eastern Europe

    • Former Soviet Republics

  • Role of Associations and Organizations

    • Importance of Quality and Quantity

  • Who should be responsible for “Public-ness” and “public goods”?

    • Governments: employing neoliberal policies

      • Retreating from public policies

    • Large companies: providing less welfare for employees

    • Families: declining roles of family members





Civil Society





Who is going to fill the gap of Public-ness? CSOs

In order to grasp civil society free of Western bias, I have started the world-wide CSO surveys since 1997.

Until 2008, 11 countries (JPN, RK, USA, G, PRC, TR, R, Ph, Br, Bg, Uz ), 50,000 assn. data collected in JIGS 1st and JIGS 2nd

We conducted more comprehensive survey including grass-root NHAs (so far only in Japan) since 2006.

IV. Brief introduction of Surveys:JIGS 1st and JIGS 2nd Rounds

V. A Comparison (except NHAs)

  • The global “association revolution”? Formation (year established) comparison

  • Composition of CSO sectors and types

  • Establishment census (the other source)

  • Effective lobbying target

  • SIS (influence) and Sector Structure

  • Japanese neighbourhood assn--its strength

The global“association revolution” (1)

  • The “Global Association Revolution” argument

    --Lester Salamon (Johns Hopkins Univ.):

    Associations replacing the functions of the declining welfare state

  • Problems:

    --Narrow focus (using government statistics)

    Size of the budget

    Size of the staff

    Amount of donations

    --No examination of associations

    in terms of their growing numbers

The global “association revolution” (2): Examining through JIGS data

The global“association revolution” (3)

  • 9-country comparison (data available)

  • Partial confirmation of the association revolution

    Between 1980s and 2000

    Peak: 1990s

  • Japan: exception? Strong post-war structure!

A Closer look at Japan (1)

A Closer look at Japan (2)

  • Characteristics:

    • Social associations:

      • no revolution confirmed

    • Neighborhood associations (NHAs):

      • no revolution confirmed

    • NPOs:

      • skyrocketed since 1999

        (enactment of NPO law 1998)

    • Majority of Associations existing today are

      created between 1945 and the era of economic growth: Robust Postwar CSO Structure

CSO’s 4 Sectors’ Proportion (1)

  • Philippine・

  • Russia

  • C.S.(≒50%)

  • Korea・Germany

  • N.P.S.(≒40%)

  • Japan・China

  • P.S.(≒40%)

  • Turkey Other (≒60%)

CSO’s 4 Sectors’ Proportion (2)

  • Profit (CSO) sector:

    Trade association, trade unions, economic organizations

  • Non-profit sector:

    Organizations related law, accounting, education,

    welfare, medicine

  • Citizen sector:

    Organizations where citizens can be involved in various

    activities related to politics, religion, sports, or hobbies

  • Other:

    Those do not fit in the above three categories

    Japan: Non-profit (36%) and Profit (35.4) sectors dominate

Table 1 Types of Organizationsin detail (not including NHAs)

Establishment Census: Office and Employees, Comparing Japan, USA, and South Korea (1)

Establishment Census: Office and Employees (2)

  • USA:

    Majority=civic organizations

  • South Korea:

    Majority shifting from economic organizations  ”other”

  • Japan:

    Preponderance of economic

    organizations and other bodies

Table 2: Effective lobbying target (in capital cities, %) 1) (excl. NA)

Notes: l) Percentage of the first choice2) In China, this is the National People’s Congress.3) In Turkey, we asked whether these areas are effective as a lobbying target. The respondents were allowed to choose more than one area.


Some what


Why is SIS different?

Differences in Subjective Influence

- Enjoy?

Philippine, Russia

- Manage? (Moderate)

Germany, Korea, Japan

- Suffer?

China, Turkey

・ 4 Sectors’ Proportion & SIS (mean)

-Positive Correlation: Citizen Sector’s % & SIS (mean)

-Negative Correlation: Profit Sector’s % & SIS (mean)

⇒CSO structure may decide SIS (vibrancy)

Figure 9: Subjective influence of neighbourhood associations, social associations and NPOs at the city, town and village level (NHA is strong in Japan)

Conclusion (1) on CSOs in Japan

  • No recent “association revolution,” rather robust post-war structure.

  • Profit (producer, economic type) CSOs dominate. (Developmental CSOs)

  • Targeting Administration.

  • Feeling moderate influence in terms of trust.

  • Strong grass-root NHAs.

Conclusion (2) on politics in Japan

  • This CSOs’ moderate, cooperative, developmental/grass-rooted nature has reduced government load and promote stable governance with small public sector.

  • This also supported the long-term LDP dominance.

  • But Japan is now in flux, because little innovation by LDP-led government under severe globalization and demands by CS.

  • Login