The fourth edition of this well established and successful text provides an analysis of Japan s current political system and the significant contributions of its leaders. It dispels the myth that Japanese politics is largely governed by consensus, revealing instead a fundamental difference of opinions when it comes to issues such as Japanese actions in the Asia–Pacific War or the country s place in today s world.
Taking a chronological approach, with emphasis on the post–1945 era, the text explores the expanding reach and role of the prime minister, as well as ways that government ministries are adopting a more streamlined and right–wing agenda. It examines a wide variety of topics from the overly dominant role of the Liberal Democratic Party to the ever–growing tensions with China and North Korea. This up–to–date edition highlights the regime and aftermath of Prime Minister Koizumi, considers the impact of globalization on Japanese political economy, and concludes with an analytical lesson in Japanese politics.
List of Tables.
1. Introduction: Why Japan and its Politics Matter.
2. Historical Background: Japan s Emergence as a Modern State and the Politics of War, 1853––1945.
3. Social Background: How far Social Norms and Behaviour Influence Politics.
4. Political Reconstruction and Development, 1945–1989.
5. One Step Forward and One Step Back: Attempting Political Reform in the 1990s.
6. New Politics for the New Millennium: The Koizumi Effect.
7. Who Runs Japan?.
8. Parliament and Parliamentary Elections: The Changing Character of Electioneering.
9. The Politics of Party: The Liberal Democrats and their Rivals.
10. Some Problems of the Constitution.
11. Issues of Domestic Political Concern.
12. Issues of Foreign Policy and Defence.
13. Conclusions: The Analytical Challenge of Japanese Politics.
Appendix 1: House of Representatives Election Results, 1946–1955.
Appendix 2: House of Representatives Election Results, 1958–1972.
Appendix 3: House of Representatives Election Results, 1976–1990.
Appendix 4: House of Representatives Election Results, 1993–2005.
Appendix 5: House of Councillors Election Results, 11 July 2004.
Appendix 6: House of Councillors Election Results, 29 July 2007.
"This clearly written and well–organized volume will continue to be of great service to students of Japanese politics." (Pacific Affairs, Autumn 2009)
"Devoid of jargon, this book is written clearly and crisply, and peppered with wit and wisdom. ... Refreshing and pleasing to hear the voice of an eminent British scholar on Japanese politics in a field dominated by American and Japanese academics." (Japanese Journal of Political Science, 2009)
"Arthur Stockwin ... is the leading British expert on Japanese politics. His analysis is succinct and he has managed to unravel most of the complexities of Japanese politics. There is much food for thought in this stimulating and informative book." (Japan Times)