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Contemporary Japanese Politics


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A valuable, up-to-date examination of contemporary Japanese politics. -- Kenneth Mori McElwain, University of Michigan

Table of Contents

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

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.


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

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