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Home > Books & Journals > Journal Abstracts Last Updated: 14:22 03/09/2007
Journal Abstracts #68: February 3, 2003

Japanese Journal of Political Science

Journal Name: Japanese Journal of Political Science: Nov. 2000, Vol.1, No.2

ISSN: 1468-1099


Political Expertise, Interdependent Citizens, and the Value Added Problem in Democratic Politics (pp171-195)
Robert Huckfeldt (Indiana University), Ken'ichi Ikeda (University of Tokyo) and Franz Urban Pappi (University of Mannheim)
In this paper we are primarily concerned with political expertise, interest, and agreement as factors that might accelerate the flow of information between citizens. We examine dyadic exchanges of information as a function of two primary sets of factors: the characteristics of the citizens in the dyadic relationship and the characteristics of the larger network within which the dyad is located. Moreover, we compare political communication within dyads across several different national contexts: Germany, Japan, and the United States. We assume that citizens are more likely to obtain information from people they trust, but why do they trust some individuals more than others? Is the frequency of communication predicated on shared political preferences? Or is it based on one citizen's assessment regarding the political expertise of another? The answers to these questions have important implications for whether social communication and social capital create added value in the collective deliberations of democratic politics.

Electoral System Effects on Gender Representation: The Case of Mixed Systems (pp197-227)
Richard Vengroff (Department of Political Science, University of Connecticut), Lucy Creevey (Department of Political Science, University of Connecticut) and Henry Krisch(Department of Political Science, University of Connecticut)
Electoral systems as endogenous re-distributive institutions (Tsebelis,1990) help to define the rules of the game. In this manner they have an important impact among regional, class, ethnic, gender, and other sub-groups of the general population on the distribution and variation in outcome of who is nominated for, and elected to, national office. In particular, there is a well-established and growing literature on the impact of electoral systems and electoral system reform on the representation of women in national legislative bodies (Darcy, Welch, and Clarke 1994; Matland and Taylor 1997; Caul 1998; Rule 1987; Matland 1998). In general, these studies have concluded that more women are elected in proportional rather than in plurality or majority electoral systems. However, a major difficulty in interpreting these findings is created by the historical, cultural, economic, and institutional differences among cases chosen for comparison.

Voter Reactions to 'Strange Bedfellows': The Japanese Voter Faces a Kaleidoscope of Changing Coalitions (pp 229-248)
Iku Kabashima (Faculty of Law, Tokyo University) and Steven R. Reed (Faculty of Policy Studies, Chuo University)
On 30 June 1994 the Social Democratic Party of Japan (SDPJ, formerly the Japan Socialist Party) joined its historic enemy, the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), to form a coalition government in a Japanese equivalent of Italy's 'historic compromise'. Competition between the conservative LDP and the progressive socialists had defined the Japanese party system since 1955. In this paper we analyze voter reactions to this and other confusing events surrounding the end of the LDP's 38-year dominance. We find, first, that the Japanese electorate was able to make sense of these events. The political space reflected in public opinion mapped the political space reflected in the mass media remarkably well. Secondly, our findings support the idea that attitudes toward political parties are endogenous to the political process: strategic moves by political actors alter the political space within which they maneuver. Coalitions of strange bedfellows force voters to revise their perceptions of political space and reevaluate their attitudes toward the actors involved. Strange bedfellows seemed less strange, friendlier after they had been seen in bed together.

Japan's Grand Strategy on the Korean Peninsula: Optimistic Realism (pp 249-274)
Victor D.Cha (Department of Government and Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University)
Korea is one of the most complex, critical, and yet understudied of Japan's foreign policy relationships. While much attention in US policy and academic circles has focused on Japan's future relations with China as the key variable for regional stability in the twenty first century, an integral part of the security dynamic in East Asia has been driven by the Japan–Korea axis. In the late-nineteenth century and early twentieth century, two major power wars in Asia (i.e., Sino-Japanese and Russo-Japanese) had this relationship as a proximate cause. During the cold war, the Japan–Republic of Korea (ROK) axis facilitated the American presence as an Asia-Pacific power and security guarantor. And in the post-cold war era, outcomes in the Japan–Korea (united or still divided) relationship are critical to the shape of future balance of power dynamics in the region and with it, the future American security presence. How then should we be thinking about future Japanese relations with the Korean peninsula? What are Tokyo's hopes and concerns with regard to Korea? How do they view the prospect of a united Korea? Is there a Japanese 'grand strategy' regarding the peninsula?

Japan's Multimember SNTV System and Strategic Voting: The 'M + 1 Rule' and Beyond (pp 275-293)
Patrick Fournier (University of British Columbia) and Masaru Kohno (Aoyama Gakuin University)
Since the early 1990s, Steven Reed and Gary Cox have changed our understanding of Japan's multimember SNTV electoral system, by highlighting its institutional effects similar to what is known as Duverger's law in the Anglo-American context. While we offer some additional evidence to consolidate their findings, we also address an issue left unexplored in these studies, namely the role of partisan information. Under Japan's system, party labels matter in elections. We show that, while Japanese voters are generally willing to abandon the candidates without affiliation with established parties, the partisan effects produce constraints for strategic coordination.

Time Travel to a Possible Self: Searching for the Alternative Cosmopolitanism of Cochin (pp 295-327)
Ashis Nandy
Cochin or Kochi is one of the few cities in India where the precolonial traditions of cultural pluralism refuse to die. It is one of the largest natural harbours in India and has also become, during the last fifty years, a major centre of the Indian Navy. With the growing security consciousness in official India, it has recently become less accessible to non-Indians, particularly if they happen to be from one of the countries with which India''s relationship is tense. Few mind that, for the city no longer means much to the outside world. To Indians, too, except probably for the more historically conscious Malayalis, Cochin is no longer the 'epitome of adventure' it was to Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi or a crucible of cultures, as it is to its former mayor, K. J. Sohan. For most, it is now one of those regional cities not quite up to the standard of India's major metropolitan centres.

Executive Turnovers in 2000 (pp 329-331)
Masaru Kohno (Aoyama Gakuin University) and Atsuko Suga
On April 5 2000, the Diet elected Yoshiro Mori as Japan's 55th prime minister. His predecessor, Keizo Obuchi, had suffered a stroke and became unable to carry out his official responsibility. Mori, who was the former Secretary General of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), inherited the three party coalition between the LDP, the new Komei Party and the Conservative Party, and reappointed all of Obuchi's cabinet members. Yohei Kono was reposted as the Minister of Foreign Affairs; Hideo Usui as Justice; Kiichi Miyazawa as Finance; Hirofumi Nakasone as Education, Science and Technology; Yuya Niwa as Health and Welfare; Tokuichiro Tanazawa as Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries; Takeshi Fukaya as International Trade and Industry; Toshihiro Nikai as Transport; Eita Yashiro as Posts and Telecommunications; Takamori Makino as Labor; Masaaki Nakayama as Construction; Kosuke Hori as Home Affairs, Mikio Aoki as Chief Cabinet Secretary; Kunihiro Tsuzuki as Management and Coordination; Tsutomu Kawara as Defense; Taichi Sakaiya as Economic Planning; Kayoko Shimizu as environment; and Sadakazu Tanigaki as Financial Reconstruction.

Legislative Records, 2000 (pp333-336)
Tomoaki Iwai (Nihon University)
The political scene behind Japan's legislation in 2000 was uneasy and flurried. The ascent to political power by Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori following the sudden death of Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi, the shift in political framework caused by the separation of the Liberal Party from the coalition government, and the general election came one after the other in a series of restless succession.

The 2000 General Election (pp337-339)
Steven R. Reed
The results of the 2000 general election can be interpreted in two contradictory ways. On the one hand, the coalition won a comfortable majority with 271 seats to the combined opposition total of 188. On the other hand, the coalition lost 64 seats while the opposition parties gained 35. Though either side could thus claim victory, it was clear from the expressions on the faces of the party leaders that the coalition had lost the election and the opposition had won. This result means, first, that the LDP's strategy of allying itself with Koumei, a religious party based on a particular Buddhist sect, has been called into question by both coalition partners and, second, that the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) has been confirmed as the primary alternative to the LDP.

Public Opinion and Its Impacts on the 2000 HR election (pp341-344)
Ikuo Kabashima
This short note analyzes how the public in Japan evaluates the performance of the cabinet and the two major parties, the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and the Democratic Party of Japan (DP), and their impacts on the 2000 House of Representatives election held on 25 June.

Japanese Journal of Political Science (2000), Cambridge University Press
Copyright ©2000 Cambridge University Press

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