Agriculture is one of the most politically powerful sectors in Japanese national politics. This book provides the first comprehensive account of the political power of Japanese farmers. This definitive text analyses the organisational and electoral bais of farmers' political power, including the role of agricultural interest groups, the mobilisation of the farm vote and links between farmers and politicians in the Diet. Agrarian power has helped to produce the distinctly pro-rural, anti-urban bias of postwar Japanese governments, resulting in a general neglect of urban consumer interests and sustained opposition to market opening for farm products. This book represents a major study of Japanese agricultural organisations in their multifarious roles as interest groups, agents of agricultural administration, electoral resource providers and mammouth business groups. It describes the policy issues that engage farmers' concerns and identifies the agricultural commodities that carry the greatest political significance.
'The reader cannot help admiring the painstaking and detailed analysis. The book is a brilliant study … highly recommended to all of those who are interested in why agricultural policy is as it is, and not as it should be.' - Quarterly Journal of International Agriculture