This book looks at the gendering of the political system in Japan and the effects of that system on gender equality in national-level politics specifically and wider society more generally. It examines the approach taken by the long-ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) to issues of gender equality in Japan, and the repercussions of that approach on women’s political experiences and representation. This book covers a range of themes including the role of the LDP and other major political parties in constructing the modern Japanese political system, the under-representation of women in Japanese politics, women’s experiences in party politics and the gendering of government policies. Using in-depth interviews with women members of the national Diet, the book sheds light on how political women negotiate the male-dominated world of Japanese politics.
Introduction 1. Women, Power and Politics under LDP Rule: Gender Equity Discourses and Practices 1955-1993 2. Post-1993 Political Power Structures and Gender Equity Policies 3. Ambivalent Ambitions 4. The Importance of Women in Politics 5. Negotiating a Masculinised Party Culture Conclusion: The Failure of ‘Equality’ and the Possibility of Gender Quotas