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Home > Books & Journals > Journal Abstracts Last Updated: 14:23 03/09/2007
Journal Abstracts #176: November 26, 2004

Japanese Journal of Political Science

Journal Name: Japanese Journal of Political Science:
May 2004, Vol. 5, No. 1

ISSN: 1468-1099


Diversification and Energy Security Risks: The Japanese Case (pp1-22)
HAYDEN LESBIREL (School of Humanities, James Cook University, Townsville, QLD, 4811)

This article explores the relationship between diversification and energy security risks. It uses portfolio theory to conceptualise energy security as an insurance mechanism against disruptions to energy import markets. It provides quantitative measures of systematic and specific risks associated with Japanese energy imports during the period 197099. It suggests that Japan's policy of diversification of energy import sources has reduced specific risks, although fundamental changes in the political and economic structure of international energy and, in particular, oil markets have also significantly reduced systematic risks. The article concludes that, despite their limitations, portfolio measures provide a much more theoretically and methodologically robust indicator of energy import security than traditional measures of dependence.

Global Environmental Issues: Responses from Japan (pp23-50)
LYDIA N. YU-JOSE (Department of Political Science, Ateneo de Manila University, Philippines)

The timing of the Japanese Government's acceptance of the United Nations multilateral treaties governing several environmental concerns indicates Japan's priorities: biodiversity, global warming, and depletion of the ozone layer. Banning transboundary movement of hazardous wastes is the least prioritized, as indicated by Japan's failure to accept the Ban Amendment to the Basel Convention. The Japanese Environment Agency's policy statements and budget allocations between 1985 and 2000, as well as other official statements and programs, likewise indicate the same priorities. Moreover, of the three priorities, global warming is the top.

Japan, which has been looking for a niche in world leadership, has found it in global warming concerns. However, it would be hard for it to maintain a leadership role in global environmental concerns if it would not be able to play a proactive role in the more technologically, economically and politically difficult task of banning transboundary movement of hazardous wastes.

Urban Elites and Income Differential in China: 19881995 (pp51-68)
YANJIE BIAN (Hong Kong University of Science and Technology) and ZHANXIN ZHANG (Chinese Academy of Social Sciences)

Urban elites and their relative income levels are windows on the emerging socioeconomic order in China. We add to the research literature a new view that economic sectors are the institutional contexts in which different elites seek their material gains. Conducting a trend analysis with 1988 and 1995 national surveys of urban China, we found that political, administrative, and managerial elites maintained consistently higher levels of income relative to professional elites, but this applied mainly to a monopoly sector of industries that were restricted to state operation. Managers in the open industry sector that allowed for free entry and exile experienced income declines relative to professionals within the sector, even though the former had moderately higher income levels than the latter in 1988 and 1995. All elite groups in the monopoly sector retained higher incomes than their counterparts in the open sector in 1995, but not necessarily in 1988.

Comparative Economic Development in China and Japan (pp69-90)
ERICH WEEDE (University of Bonn, Germany)

Three hundred years ago per capita incomes in China and Japan were about equal and fairly close to the global mean. At the end of the twentieth century Japanese per capita incomes are about as high as Western incomes and about seven times as high as Chinese incomes. How could this happen? Manchu China and Tokugawa Japan did not establish equally safe property rights for merchants and producers as the West did. But political fragmentation and feudalism within Japan provided something like checks and balances against arbitrary government which China lacked. Moreover, a similar lack of respect for merchants in both countries had more favourable consequences for early commercialisation in Japan than in China.

Japan's revolution from above led to a much earlier and faster restoration of orderly government than China's protracted decay of imperial rule first and its revolution from below thereafter. Whereas the Japanese revolution from above implied the preservation of human and social capital, the Chinese revolution from below led to a massive destruction of both. Moreover, Japanese nationalism was oriented toward the conquest of foreign markets and economic supremacy earlier than Chinese nationalism. This provided another Japanese advantage over China.

Japan began its process of catch-up with the West about hundred years earlier than China. In both countries high savings and investment as well as human capital formation contributed to growth. China was held back first by political instability and later by diluted property rights and distorted incentives. In the last quarter century, however, China has re-established incentives, opened up its economy, and established some substitute for private property rights. It has done well enough to have already overtaken the Japanese economy in size. The size gap between the two economies is likely to widen quickly, whereas the still huge gap in per capita incomes will narrow only very slowly.

Political Cynicism, Public Interest Blackballing and Voter Turnout: The Case of South Korea's 2000 National Assembly Elections (pp91-111)
SUNWOONG KIM (Department of Economics, University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI 53021) and KISUK CHO (Graduate School of International Studies, Ewha Womans University, Seoul, Korea)

In the South Korea's 16th National Assembly (NA) elections held on 13 April 2000, there was widespread speculation that the Citizens Alliance's (CA's) public interest blackballing campaign against 'unfit' candidates increased voter cynicism and decreased voter turnout, as it was the lowest ever for NA elections. We empirically evaluate this speculation by conducting logit analyses of individual voter survey data as well as regression analyses on district-wide aggregated data on turnout. Although we find that cynical voters are likely to be more sympathetic to CA's blackballing campaign, we do not find any evidence that the campaign decreases voter turnout. These findings are consistent with Kahn and Kenny (1999) who argue that voters respond well to the negative information if it is presented in an appropriate manner.

News Media Coverage Influence on Japan's Foreign Aid Allocations (pp113-135)
DAVID M. POTTER (Nanzan University) and DOUGLAS VAN BELLE (Victoria University of Wellington)

This study explores the role that news coverage plays in the allocation of Japanese development aid. Conceptually, it is expected that democratic foreign policy officials, including those working in bureaucratic governmental structures will try to match the magnitude of their actions with what they expect is the public's perception of the importance of the recipient. News media salience serves an easily accessible indicator of that domestic political importance and, in the case of foreign aid, this suggests that higher levels of news coverage of a less-developed country will lead to higher aid commitments. The statistical analysis demonstrates that the level of news coverage is a statistically significant factor in Japanese aid distributions. More significantly, the analysis demonstrates that separating grant aid from other forms of aid is critical for the empirical examination of the determinants of Japanese aid.

Japan and UN Peace Operations (pp137-157)
KATSUMI ISHIZUKA (Department of International Business Management, University of Kyoei, Japan)

Japan created 'the PKO Law' in 1992 to provide a legal framework for international peacekeeping activities, following its financial involvement in the Gulf War of 1991. This paper argues that the PKO Law imposed certain restrictions which complicated the missions of the Japanese Self Defence Forces (SDF) and civilian personnel in operational fields. Post 11 September (2001), the Japanese government created a new legal framework for counter-terrorism and dispatched its SDF personnel to the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET) and the United Nations Mission of Support in East Timor (UNMISET).

The Impact of the Electoral System on Government Formation: The Case of Post-Communist Hungary (pp159-178)
CSABA NIKOLENYI (Department of Political Science, Concordia University, Montreal, Canada)

Conventional theories of government formation have assumed that the coalition formation process starts after legislative elections are over and the distribution of parliamentary seats becomes common knowledge. This perspective, however, ignores the important constraints that the formation of electoral coalitions may exert on the formation of the government. This article argues that the electoral system of Hungary provides very strong incentives for political parties to build electoral coalitions, which are also identified as alternative governments before the electorate.

Research Notes

The AsiaBarometer: Its Aim, Its Scope, Its Strength (pp179-196)
TAKASHI INOGUCHI (University of Tokyo)

The Asia Barometer was launched on 6 May 2003 with an international symposium held at the University of Tokyo. It was executed in ten Asian societies in summer 2003. With the first AsiaBarometer survey data in their hands, Asian social scientists got together at the University of Tokyo in January 2004 to present and discuss their papers and discuss the second AsiaBarometer survey to be conducted in summer 2004. In March 2004 discussion papers came out from the Institute of Oriental Culture, University of Tokyo. By the end of 2004 the AsiaBarometer Sourcebook will come out also. This research note summarizes the AsiaBarometer's aims, scope and strength.

Social Capital in Ten Asian Societies (pp197-211)
TAKASHI INOGUCHI (University of Tokyo)

On the basis of seven questions asked in the AsiaBarometer survey conducted by the author in 2003 in ten Asian societies, Uzbekistan, India, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, China, Korea and Japan, the author analyzes the key dimensions of social capital, permeating the ten societies, (1) general trust in interpersonal relations, (2) trust in merit-based utility; and (3) trust in social system and comes up with the five groups of societies on the basis of three major dimensions of social capital and comes up with the five groups of societies (1) China and Vietnam, (2) Sri Lanka and Uzbekistan, (3) Malaysia, Myanmar and India, (4) Japan and Korea, and (5) Thailand. Conceptual examinations are also done in relation to the work done by Ronald Inglehart and Christian Weltzel and broad empirical corroborations are noted.

Japanese Journal of Political Science (2003), Cambridge University Press
Copyright ©2003 Cambridge University Press

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