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Home > Books & Journals > Journal Abstracts Last Updated: 14:23 03/09/2007
Journal Abstracts #263: January 9, 2007

Social Science Japan Journal

Journal Name: Social Science Japan Journal: October 2006, Vol. 9, No. 2

Print ISSN: 1369-1465, Online ISSN: 1468-2680

General Papers:

Race, Monarchy, and the Anglo-Japanese Alliance, 1902–1922 (pp171-186)
Antony BEST (Senior Lecturer in the International History Department at the London School of Economics)
The history of the Anglo-Japanese alliance is usually treated by historians as an exercise in power politics that came about because of the broadly similar national interests of the two signatories who were both opposed to Russian expansion in North-East Asia. Such an approach overlooks the fact that this was an alignment between two countries that differed in regard to race, religion, and culture. To overcome this divide and thus seal the alliance, both sides made overt use of royal diplomacy to create mutual respect and a sense of equality between the two nations. This led to a series of high-profile royal visits and the reciprocal conferment of the highest orders of honour. However, in the background racial factors, such as the 'Yellow Peril' phenomenon and the rise of pan-Asianism, continued to exist. In the Great War, these problems came to the surface and fuelled mutual suspicion. As a result, at the end of that conflict, some felt that the alliance had no future, and this sense of malaise contributed to its termination at the Washington Conference.

Uncovering Shokumin: Yanaihara Tadao's Concept of Global Civil Society (pp187-202)
Ryoko NAKANO (Research fellow in the Nanzan University Institute for Social Ethics in Nagoya)
This article develops the argument that Yanaihara Tadao (1893–1961), a Japanese social scientist at Tokyo Imperial University, embraced the concept of global civil society in which culturally distinct groups would voluntarily cooperate for the benefit of the whole. This important aspect of his work is much less explored than his critique of Japanese colonial policy in Taiwan and Korea. In the period of imperial Japan, Yanaihara reinterpreted the commonly used term for colonization, shokumin, as population migration. Such a reinterpretation allowed him to illustrate the significance of transnational interactions as part and parcel of the globalizing civil society. This article examines his specific understanding of population migration and ethnic nationalism in relation to the concept of global civil society. I argue that his call for colonial autonomy in response to ethnic nationalism implies that he considered the collective struggle for creating an ethnic nation state not only a negative example of a conflict over differences but also a positive opportunity to explore the potential of global civil society.

The Role of Matsunaga Yasuzaemon in the Development of Japan's Electric Power Industry (pp203-219)
Takeo KIKKAWA (Professor of Japanese business history and the comparative study of modern economies at the Institute of Social Science, University of Tokyo)
Since 1883, when the nation's first electric power company, Tokyo Electric Lighting Co., was founded, Japan's electric power industry has developed largely through private enterprise. The exception was the period 1939–1951, spanning World War II and the Allied Occupation, when it was under state control. This path of development contrasts sharply with that of another electricity-related enterprise, the telecommunications industry. The Ministry of Communications also controlled telecommunications during and just after the war, but unlike the electric industry, telecommunications had no history as a private enterprise at any time from its start in 1869 until it was privatized in 1985. Until that year, the government ran it either directly or indirectly. This article reviews the history and development of Japan's electric power industry and analyzes the influential role of Matsunaga Yasuzaemon (1875–1971) in that process. While identifying the factors that lay behind Matsunaga's enormous contributions to the industry, it explains the reasons that the electric power industry, in contrast with telecommunications, has been run predominantly as a private enterprise.

The Making of Modern Riches: The Social Origins of the Economic Elite in the Early 20th Century (pp221-241)
Shunsuke NAKAOKA (Former research associate at the Institute of Social Science, University of Tokyo and currently working as a part-time lecturer at Kant Gakuin University)
The aim of this article is to examine and analyze the social origins of the modern Japanese wealthy economic elite. The analysis in this article focuses primarily on the conditions necessary for the entry of other social groups, including the non-economic social elite and those of lower social class origins, into the economic elite. This analysis incorporates comparisons with members of the European bourgeoisie, especially in Britain and Germany. The article's analysis shows that there was less social mobility into the world of the wealthy economic elite for some social groups within Japan. From a comparative perspective-although Japan, Britain, and Germany share similar high levels of self-recruitment-there were significant differences that were influenced by the social and historical context of each country.

Survey Articles:

The Liberal Democratic Party at 50: Sources of Dominance and Changes in the Koizumi Era (pp243-257)
Patrick KÖLLNER (Head of the Research Programme on Legitimacy and Efficiency of Political Systems at the GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies and a senior research fellow at the GIGA Institute of Asian Affairs in Hamburg, Germany)
More than 50 years after its founding, Japan's Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) is still going strong. It has become the dominant party within a democratic setting. How did the LDP manage to cling to its dominant position for such a long time? And to what extent has the LDP changed colours under the leadership of Koizumi Jun'ichir? This survey article attempts to answer these questions by focussing on the three dimensions of LDP dominance: electoral, parliamentary, and executive dominance. It argues that clientelist politics explain a good deal of the success of the LDP in the past. Such an orientation however became decreasingly effective and sustainable in a political environment that has changed significantly since the early 1990s. In the Koizumi era, the LDP managed to rise again to the challenges posed to its dominance by appealing directly to voters, by optimizing electoral cooperation, and by making efforts to centralize policymaking. Whether these more recent approaches to maintaining LDP dominance can be sustained, however, remains an open question.

Measuring a Population in Decline: From the Planning to the Implementation of the 2005 Japanese Census (pp259-274)
Tomohiko SATO (Deputy Division Chief, Consumer Statistics Division, Statistical Survey Department, Statistics Bureau, Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications)
Japan's Population Census (kokusei chosa) conducted in 2005 is a vital instrument for measuring changes within Japanese society. With its sharply declining birthrate and rapidly aging population, Japan is undergoing a major transformation not only in demographic structure but also because its population is shrinking. This survey article aims to provide an overview of Japan's Population Census and an account of the 2005 census, from its planning to the post-enumeration survey phases. Gaining an understanding of the process by which the Population Census and other Japanese government statistics are compiled and the degree of accuracy of the results is an important element in the advancement of empirical analysis in Japan Studies as a social science discipline. In this regard, it is hoped that this article will benefit Japan Studies scholars abroad who are interested in the current changes in Japanese society.

Social Science Japan Journal (2005)
Copyright©2005 by the Institute of Social Sciences at the University of Tokyo.

(This journal is available online at:
Posted with permission from the publisher.

Copyright © Japanese Institute of Global Communications