“This is a nuts and bolts textbook in the best sense of the term. … It is bound to be a great boon both to teachers and students of contemporary Japanese politics.” —from the Foreword by Haruhiro Fukui This timely volume is the first book in nearly twenty-five years to focus on the party system of Japan. In the past two decades, the Japanese political scene has undergone a dramatic transformation. What had been a two-party system proliferated during the 1960s and 1970s into a seven-party system. This book provides a comprehensive look at all of Japan’s current major and minor national-level parties. For the first time in English, detailed analyses are presented on the Democratic Socialists, the Clean Government party (KÅmeitÅ), and the New Liberal Club. Thorough coverage is provided for parties in the “1955 System”—the ruling Liberal Democratic party and the two long-term opposition parties, the Socialists and the Communists. Many of the new miniparties that have appeared in recent elections are also discussed. Japanese Political Parties gives readers a solid understanding of party histories, leadership, and internal organization, as well as a look at prospects for the future. The party discussions are preceded by three chapters on the laws and political forces affecting Japanese politics. Chapter 1 describes the basic characteristics of the Japanese party system since 1945 and provides an overview of Japanese voting behavior and political values. Chapter 2 describes the “rules of the game”—the electoral laws—and discusses the ongoing political problem of malapportionment. Chapter 3 interprets data on political finance in contemporary Japan. Along with a wealth of information and interpretation, the authors offer insight into the common patterns Japan shares with democracies around the world, placing the Japanese system within the larger context of world party systems. Designed for courses on Japanese politics, this text should also prove useful to students of comparative politics and political parties.
Table of Contents
Foreword -- Preface -- Note on Personal Names -- Introduction to the Japanese Party System -- The Changing Postwar Party System -- Rules of the Game: The Impact of the Electoral System on Political Parties -- The Money Base of Japanese Politics -- The Parties of the Left -- The Japan Socialist Party: A Politics of Permanent Opposition -- The Japan Communist Party: The “Lovable” Party -- The Parties of the Center -- The Kōmeitō: Party of “Buddhist Democracy” -- The Democratic Socialist Party: Enigma of the Center -- Political Party Proliferation: The New Liberal Club and the Mini-Parties -- The Ruling Party of Japan and Its Future -- The Liberal Democratic Party: The Ruling Party of Japan -- The Changing Party System in the 1980s: From One-Party Rule Toward an Era of Coalition Government -- The 1986 General Elections -- Appendix
BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
- POLITICAL SCIENCE / World / Asian
- SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / Asian American Studies
- SOCIAL SCIENCE / Regional Studies