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Home > Books & Journals > Journal Abstracts Last Updated: 14:22 03/09/2007
Journal Abstracts #76: March 3, 2003

Japanese Journal of Political Science

Journal Name: Japanese Journal of Political Science:
November 2002, Vol. 3, No. 2

ISSN: 1468-1099


Political Cultures Do Matter: Citizens and Politics in Western Europe and East and Southeast Asia (pp151-171)
Jean Blondel and Takashi Inoguchi(European University Institute, University of Tokyo)
This article is concerned with the examination of the attitudes of the 'common man' in two regions of the globe, both with respect to basic relations between citizen and state and with respect to the extent to which 'globalisation' affects these relations. These questions have too long been discussed primarily at the level of elites or on the basis of assumptions or 'hunches' about what the reactions of the people at large may be. By providing at least some evidence pertaining to both these questions, the study thus aims at beginning to fill a gap which has long needed to be filled and at giving the debate on 'convergence' and on 'globalisation' some of the empirical basis which it badly needs.

A Perfectly Normal Abnormality: German Foreign Policy after Kosovo and Afghanistan (pp173-193)
Thomas U. Berger (Boston University, Department of International Relations, USA)
For decades Japan and the Federal Republic of Germany have gone to extraordinary lengths to cultivate as low a profile as possible on defense and national security policy matters. However, since the Gulf War, the Federal Republic has come under growing pressure from its allies to assume a greater international security role. Slowly, reluctantly it has acceded to these demands, albeit at the expense of considerable internal angst and turmoil. At the same time, German decision makers have sought to preserve as much as possible the old approach to security policy. Consequently, the long-standing German norms eschewing the use of military force have been gradually displaced, although not wholly replaced, by norms of multilateralism. Rather than a dramatic break with the past, the Federal Republic's actions in Kosovo and Afghanistan can be seen as the culmination of a series of incremental steps that had begun a decade ago.
To substantiate these claims this paper will first briefly outline the origins of the Cold German national security practices and the peculiar constellation of domestic and international factors that shaped them. It will then consider in what ways these factors have both changed, and not changed, since the end of the Cold War and sketch the trajectory along which German defense and national security policies have evolved since 1991. Finally, the paper briefly examines the Federal Republic's response to the Kosovo and Afghan crises before offering some general conclusions about the likely future evolution of German security policy.

Civil Society in Japan Reconsidered (pp195-215)
Frank Schwartz
When defined broadly, we can proceed on the assumption that in all but the most totalitarian of modern contexts, there is some kind of civil society that can be identified and compared cross-nationally. Although Japan may not strike the casual observer as the most fertile ground for such an investigation, setting bounds to the state and freeing space for plurality – the foci of a civil society approach – have long been key issues for that country. Japan may be the strictest of all advanced industrial democracies in regulating the incorporation of nongovernmental organizations, but the 1990s represented a watershed in this regard, and the passage of new legislation in 1998 will enable many thousands of organizations to win legal status without subjecting themselves to stifling state regulation.

Japanese Civil Society in the Age of Deregulation: The Case of Consumers (pp217-242)
Patricia L. Maclachlan (Department of Asian Studies, University of Texas at Austin)
Although scholars have long been interested in the relationships among civil society, the state and the market in advanced industrial democracies, the implications of state disengagement from the affairs of private firms for civil society have yet to be explored in the contemporary literature. My purpose in this essay has been to address this issue by examining the effects of deregulation on Japanese consumer society, paying particular attention to how legislative and bureaucratic changes in the wake of regulatory reform have affected consumer relations with business and, more significantly, state actors.

Evaluating Political Reform in Japan: A Midterm Report (pp243-263)
Steven R. Reed
In the 1993 general election the Liberal Democratic Party lost power for the first time since it was founded in 1955. The coalition government that followed enacted the most far-reaching political reforms Japan has experienced since the American Occupation. The country has now experienced two elections since these reforms so we can begin to analyze trends and dynamics. It is now possible to make a preliminary evaluation of the effects of these reforms. I evaluate the reforms under three headings: (1) reducing the cost of elections and levels of corruption; (2) replacing candidate-centered with party-centered campaigns; and (3) moving toward a two-party system which would produce alternation in power between the parties of the government and the parties of the opposition. In conclude that, with some notable exceptions, the reforms are working well, about as well as should have been expected.

Bandwagon Competition or Duration Dependence? Comment on 'Shaping Policy Diffusion' (pp265-269)
Mikitaka Masuyama (Seikei University, Japan)
Ito (2001) has made an interesting argument on policy making in Japanese local governments. However, his analysis is based on the estimates from the models that do not properly take into account the temporal dependence of regional law adoption. The purpose of this comment is to point out a troubling aspect of Ito's event history modeling, and to put the existence of potential problems caused by temporally dependent observations into perspective.

Legislative Records: The Japanese National Diet in 2002 (pp271-273)
Takashi Inoguchi and Hdeaki Uenohara (University of Tokyo, Japan)
The Koizumi Administration got off on the right foot with a high approval rate over 85 % in April 2001, and swept Upper House Election held three months later (Inoguchi, 2002). However, it lost the support of legislators, media, and constituents because of his failure to get the reform process off the ground. Most salient of the legislative records is that the batting average of the cabinet sponsored bills has experienced a dramatic fall in the 153rd (27 September to 7 December 1001) and 154th (21 January to 31 July 2002) sessions, registering the second lowest figure for the last decade. Clearly the Prime Minister's legislative coalition has been significantly weakened (see Table 1; see Table 2 for the distribution of seats by political party).

Executive Turnovers in 2002 (pp275-279)
Masaru Kohno and Jun Mizutani (Aoyama Gakuin University. Japan)Abstract:
From the latter half of 2001 to the middle of 2002, prime minister Junichiro Koizumi was plagued by a series of scandals and administrative mishandlings, which led to some important executive turnovers. Although Koizumi has thus far upheld his principle of 'one cabinet, one minister' for the sake of policy stability, his campaign promise not to reshuffle cabinet has already been compromised somewhat, and is likely to be abandoned entirely in the near future.

Elections: Still Demanding a Change: Elections in Japan in 2002 (pp281-283)
Steven R. Reed
One year ago I entitled my review of Japanese elections 'Time for a Change?'. Candidates running against the establishment were defeating candidates who had until recently appeared unbeatable. Most notably, outsider candidates were defeating ainori (supported by all major parties) candidates in gubernatorial elections. A prime example of an outsider candidate defeating the establishment was Prime Minister Koizumi, who defeated the LDP establishment to win the leadership of the LDP. Koizumi's election and subsequent popularity appears to have dampened the trend. Most notably, a well-qualified challenger failed to unseat the incumbent in the Shizuoka gubernatorial election. Once Koizumi's popularity faded, however, the trend in favour of outsiders reappeared. Given an attractive alternative, establishment candidates continue to find themselves in trouble. The clearest recent example comes from the Yokohama mayoral election.

Support for Koizumi Administration (pp285-287)
Ikuo Kabashima
One year ago the Japanese people pinned their hopes on Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi. The figure shows public support ratings for the Koizumi cabinet as measured by periodic JiJi opinion surveys: He enjoyed a stellar 72.8% support rate immediately after taking office, and this climbed even higher to break the 78.4% mark the following month. Compared with the dismal 9.6% support for the cabinet of his predecessor, Mori Yoshirô (April 2000–April 2001), right before he bowed out, these sky-high numbers make it clear just how much faith the people were placing in the new administration.

Japanese Journal of Political Science (2002), Cambridge University Press
Copyright ©2002 Cambridge University Press

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