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Presentation on theme: "JAPAN CHAPTER 5."— Presentation transcript:


2 Clicker: 2 points The Chief Executive in the Japanese Government since 1948 is called: Chancellor Emperor President Prime Minister Shogun

3 Clicker: 2 points Most often in postwar Japan, the prime minister has lead a government formed: By a coalition of 2 or more parties By the same single party that held a majority in the diet most of the time One of four main parties whose relative power in the diet alternates often with elections By a compromise among the several parties that elect members to the Diet

4 Introduction

5 Introduction Japan has the world’s third biggest national economy after the United States and China. It has few natural resources, few minerals, and limited farmland. It must import most of its iron and energy needs and nearly one-third of its food needs. However, it has developed a manufacturing sector that leads the world in engineering, machinery, road vehicles, and electronic products. This helped to make Japan rich from the ‘60s to the ‘80s.

6 Economic downtown in 1990s as a result of:
Introduction Economic downtown in 1990s as a result of: troubled banking system, corporate difficulties, bad investment choices, a too-powerful bureaucracy, and a political system that seems to be immune to reform. RISE OF COMPETITORS: Korea, Taiwan, CHINA, Indonesia, Malaysia, etc. These all undercut Japan’s market NICHE in the 1980s.

7 Introduction Japan is noted for two statistics rates: Longest life expectancy Lowest homicide rate

8 Part 1: Political Development
The Shoguns (1192–1868) Military dictators ruling as the “servants” of the Emperor. Shoguns ruled through a complex hierarchy. Territorial lords (daimyo) Warriors (samurai) At the beginning of seventeenth century 1600), new capital of Japan was Edo. For 250 years Japan practiced isolationism. Sakoku, or the “closed country”

9 Part 1: Political Development
The end of Japanese isolationism came in July 1853. Commodore Matthew Perry of the U.S. Navy sailed into Tokyo Bay with a demand from President Millard Fillmore that Japan open its doors to trade. Treaty with United States signed in 1854.

10 Part 1: Political Development
Limited Democracy and Imperialism (1868– 1945) 1868: Meiji restoration: new era of modernization Edo was renamed Tokyo. New sense of nationalization occurred. Industry grew Powerful new military was built 1889: New constitution was established.

11 Part 1: Political Development
Limited Democracy and Imperialism (1868–1945) 1932: Japanese formalized its occupation of the state of Manchukuo in Manchuria. This action broke with international law. Japan withdrew from the League of Nations. 1940: Japan allied itself with Germany and Italy. 1941: Japan attacks Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. Attack results in declaration of war by United States and Britain. 1945: United States dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, leading to the surrender of Japan.

12 Part 1: Political Development
Occupation and the Rise of the New Japan 1945: Japan emerged from World War II. Its economy was in ruins. Its social and political systems was fragile and confused. It was under foreign occupation. U.S. General Douglas MacArthur In charge of disarming, democratizing, and permanently demilitarizing Japan Oversaw the creation of new political and social system having elements of Western-style democracy Arranged for new constitution

13 Part 1: Political Development
Japan Today Politically: It needs leadership. Difficult to understand and reform Economically: Consumer confidence is low. : Japan was the only liberal democracy to experience deflation. 2011: Unemployment was running at about 5%. Changes are occurring. Electoral system has been reformed. Government ministries have been reorganized. Younger Japanese are rebelling against formality and conformity.

14 Part 1: Political Development
Japan Today (Cont’d) March 2011: Eastern Japan Great Earthquake Japan was struck with triple disaster: Earthquake Tsunami Extensive damage to its nuclear power stations Ramifications were felt through Japan and globally as part supplies from Japanese manufacturers to vehicle and electronic plants in many parts of the world were disrupted.

15 Part 1: Political Development
POLITICAL CULTURE: Strong Collective Identity Politics is not driven by the majority. Decisions in Japan tend to be made by consensus. There is little room for individualism. Emphasis is placed on the group. Feminist movement is weak. Underlying reason is tradition and social order.

16 Part 2: Political System
POLITICAL CULTURE (Cont’d) Japan is a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary government presiding over a unitary state. Japan is often called a patron-client democracy. Patron–client democracy: The term used to describe the dynamics of the Japanese political system and its emphasis on bargains and the trading of favors.

17 Part 2: Political System
THE CONSTITUTION Japan has had two constitutions: 1889: Meiji Constitution 1947: Written under the auspices of U.S. General MacArthur Still in force today Some of the features of the constitution include: Created a parliamentary system Replaced emperor-based system with popular sovereignty. Guaranteed human rights Renounced war (The ONE part that was all Japanese) Abolished the aristocracy Created a new Supreme Court

18 Part 2: Political System
THE EMPEROR Both Britain and Japan are constitutional monarchies. The British monarch is “head of state” The Japanese monarch is only the “symbol of the state.”

19 Part 2: Political System
THE EMPEROR (Cont’d) Current Emperor is Akhito. He presides over opening of the Diet. His seal is needed for important state documents. He confirms the person chosen to be prime minister by the Diet. HOWEVER, the advice and approval of the Cabinet shall be required for all acts of the Emperor in matters of state” (Article 3) and the Emperor “shall perform only such acts in matters of state as are provided for in the Constitution and he shall not have powers related to government” (Article 4).

20 Part 2: Political System
THE EXECUTIVE: PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET Japanese prime ministers are the weakest heads of government of any liberal democracy. Turnover for prime ministers has been so rapid that Japan is sometimes called a karaoke democracy. Length of term: no more than five years.

21 Part 2: Political System
THE EXECUTIVE: PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET (Cont’d) Role of the prime minister: Hires and fires members of the cabinet, as well as all other senior members of the government and their party Appoints the chairs of key governmental advisory councils Nominates the chief justice of the Supreme Court (does not face the same checks and balances as U.S. presidents).

22 Part 2: Political System
THE EXECUTIVE: PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET (Cont’d) The Japanese cabinet is little more than an executive committee of the Diet. Ministers are usually given their posts as political favors, and cabinet turnover is normally high.

23 Part 2: Political System
THE LEGISLATURE: THE DIET It has all the typical lawmaking powers of a parliamentary legislature: standard powers over lawmaking and the budget, ability to unseat the prime minister and cabinet through a vote of no confidence, a question time for members of the cabinet, and a range of specialist committees. The Diet has two chambers.

24 Part 2: Political System
Iron triangle: An arrangement by which political power in countries such as Japan is focused on a relationship between the governing party, bureaucrats, and business.

25 Part 2: Political System

26 Part 2: Political System
House of Councillors (Sangi-in) House of Councillors is the upper house. It consists of 242 members serving fixed six-year terms. Half of the members come up for reelection every three years. It is chaired by a president chosen from among its members. It can reject bills from the House of Representatives, but the lower house can override the rejection with a two-thirds majority.

27 Part 2: Political System
House of Representatives (Shugi-in) The House of Representatives is the lower and more powerful chamber. It consists of 480 members elected using a combination of 300 single-member districts and 180 seats filled by proportional representation. The Diet meets for only five months per year, two months of which are usually tied up over the annual budget debate. Diet members typically have very small staff and very small offices. Diet members do not generally write bills, the bureaucracy does that

28 Part 2: Political System
THE JUDICIARY: SUPREME COURT The Japanese court has 15 judges, 14 of whom are chosen by the cabinet from lists submitted by the court itself. The chief justice is appointed by the emperor on the recommendation of the cabinet. New members of the Japanese court must be confirmed by a popular vote at the next general election and again at the next general election following 10 years of service. They must retire at age 70.

29 Part 2: Political System
SUBNATIONAL GOVERNMENT Japan is a unitary system of government. It is highly centralized, and local government is correspondingly less important. Japanese local government generally operates as a willing and efficient channel for the implementation of central government policies.

30 Part 3: Elections and Parties
THE ELECTORAL SYSTEM There are no primaries in Japan. Official election campaigns are restricted by law to a maximum of 30 days. The general election is the most critical as it determines the membership of the Diet.

31 Part 3: Elections and Parties
Legislative Elections Electioneering in Japan is controlled by the strongest restrictions. All of the following are illegal or regulated: door-to-door canvassing signature drives mass meetings polling unscheduled speeches Parades literature produced by candidates

32 Part 3: Elections and Parties
Local Government Elections Japanese voters take part in a variety of local elections. The significance of local government elections is relatively minor, except as a potential (but not always reliable) indicator of support for political parties.

33 Part 3: Elections and Parties
POLITICAL PARTIES Japan does not have a long history of party politics. Several parties were formed after Meiji restoration, but it was halted in the 1930s. The party system was reborn in 1945. From 1955 to 1993, every government was formed and led by the Liberal Democrats. Changes in the party system took another dramatic turn in the 1993 elections, when defections from the LDP resulted in big losses and the emergence of three new parties.

34 Part 3: Elections and Parties
POLITICAL PARTIES (Cont’d) There were predictions that a two-party system might emerge, with the LDP on the right and the New Frontier Party (NFP) on the left, but this idea died in late with the collapse of the NFP. LDP staged a comeback in 2005. 2009 general election: LDP and the DPJ almost exactly reversed their representation in the House.

35 Part 3: Elections and Parties
Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) (Jiyuminshuto) The Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) originated in 1870. It was reformed in 1955 when the two main conservative parties joined forces. The LDP is a classic example of Japanese consensus politics. It is a mainstream, conservative, pro-business party.

36 Part 3: Elections and Parties
Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) (Jiyuminshuto) (Cont’d) Reasons for longtime dominance of the LDP: As it began in 1950, it was the party of experience. It could meet popular expectations for stability and economic prosperity. It was the only party able to take advantage of the multimember constituency system used until 1995. It had extensive contacts in business. Bureaucracy needed to raise money to support fielding multiple candidates. The LDP benefited from the slowness with which constituency lines were redrawn.

37 Part 3: Elections and Parties
Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) (Jiyuminshuto) (Cont’d) Reasons for longtime dominance of the LDP (Cont’d): The LDP factions do not provide real policy alternatives as much as they promote their leaders to positions of power. Opposition parties failed to offer a distinct ideological alternative. It has an impressive network of grassroots supporter groups with personal ties to Diet members. Japanese voters tend to be conservative. The LDP is a chameleon party, adapting its policies to meet the changing tastes and needs of voters. Calder: Crisis and Compensation thesis.

38 Part 3: Elections and Parties

39 Part 3: Elections and Parties
Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) (Minshuto) 1992–1993 New Harbinger Party (Shinto Sakigake) split off from Liberal Democrats. Broke apart in August, 1996, with defectors forming centrist DPJ. Its key goals include greater political transparency and decentralization, more equal economic opportunity, and a more independent approach to Japanese foreign relations.

40 Part 3: Elections and Parties
Figure 5.1 Legislative Electoral Trends in Japan

41 Part 3: Elections and Parties
Clean Government Party (CGP) (Komeito) Groups of disaffected LDP members of parliament broke away during 1992–1993 to form three new parties: the Japan New Party, the Japan Renewal Party, and the New Harbinger Party. These joined forces with four other small parties— including Komeito (founded in 1964) and the Social Democrats—to form the multiparty coalition that finally broke the LDP’s 38-year grip on power in 1993.

42 Part 3: Elections and Parties
Clean Government Party (CGP) (Komeito) In December 1994, the New Frontier Party (NFP) united no fewer than nine opposition groups under the leadership of Ichiro Ozawa. Ozawa disbanded the NFP in December 1997, and most of its members agreed to create New Komeito.

43 Part 3: Elections and Parties
The leaders of Japan’s political parties pose before a meeting at the National Press Club of Tokyo in June From left to right: Kazuo Shii of the Japan Communist Party, Sadakazu Tanigaki of the Liberal Democratic Party, Prime Minister Naoto Kan of the Democratic Party of Japan, Natsuo Yamaguchi of the New Komeito Party, Mizuho Fukushima of the Social Democratic Party, and Yoshimi Watanabe of Your Party. Part 3: Elections and Parties Koji Sasahara/AP Photo

44 Part 3: Elections and Parties
Other Parties The two remaining parties of national significance are both on the left of the political spectrum: Social Democratic Party (SDP) Successor to the Japan Socialist Party (JSP) Japan Communist Party (JCP) Founded in 1922 with Soviet support, but not legalized until 1945

45 Part 4: Policies and Policymaking
ECONOMIC POLICY Key factors in Japan’s economic success include: A close relationship between government and business Japanese companies can borrow more than their American counterparts. A close relationship between government, business, and labor unions Lowest number of days lost through strikes Workers are highly productive, and tend to put the good of the company before their own personal welfare.

46 Part 4: Policies and Policymaking
ECONOMIC POLICY (Cont’d) Key factors in Japan’s economic success include: (Cont’d) Major investments in new technology and research and development Emphasis on greater automation High levels of household savings Japanese save a remarkable 27 percent of their income, much of which is invested, thus helping economic development.

47 Part 4: Policies and Policymaking
ECONOMIC POLICY (Cont’d) Unfortunately, economic growth has come at the expense of quality of life. Little has been invested in environmental protection, welfare, and basic services. The Japanese work long hours. Driven by high-cost of living Loyalty and obligation toward employer This has led to karoshi (death from overwork). Court cases have been filed against companies by the families of workers who have died relatively young from heart attacks or strokes. Labor laws have been changed to limit companies with more than 30 employees to a 40-hour working week.

48 Part 4: Policies and Policymaking
ECONOMIC POLICY (Cont’d) Despite their work ethic, the Japanese have less purchasing power. Consumer goods are relatively expensive. Land and real estate prices are among the highest in the world. Cities are crowded. Housing is in short supply. Homes are small. Commuters often have to travel up to two hours a day each way between home and work.

49 Part 4: Policies and Policymaking
Figure 5.2 Comparing Trade Balances Source: The Economist, April Figures are for preceding 12 months.

50 Part 4: Policies and Policymaking
FOREIGN POLICY Clause was included in the Japanese constitution to prevent the reemergence of Japanese militarism. It has provoked controversy within Japan, and complicated relations with the United States. Article IX – Peace Clause

51 Part 4: Policies and Policymaking
Japan and the United States Japanese Mutual Security Treaty of 1954: Japan agrees to the stationing of U.S. troops on its soil. Also, Japan has maintained the Self-Defense Force (SDF), whose job during the cold war was to provide the United States with intelligence. U.S. and Japanese economic and defense interests are linked together closely, but the two countries are economic rivals. There is growing support among Japanese for their country to play a more assertive role in world.

52 Part 4: Policies and Policymaking
Japan and Its Neighbors Although Japan spends some $47 Billion in defense Similar to Britain or Russia’s military budgets Its main priority has been to stay friendly with everyone and to build trade. In recent years, Japan has become interested in spreading its influence to poorer countries.

53 Part 4: Policies and Policymaking
JAPANESE POLITICS IN TRANSITION Challenges facing Japan today: opening its markets to its trading partners, finding a new role for itself at the heart of an Asia filled with rapidly growing economies, and reforming its political system in a way that takes government out of smoke-filled rooms and moves it more fully into the public arena. The core problem remains with the structure of government. Failures of reforms for structure to take root

54 Study Questions What is the difference (if any) between modernization and Westernization? What evidence is there of social hierarchies in the United States and Britain, and how do their political consequences compare with those of Japanese social hierarchy? It is often said that Japanese prime ministers are caretakers or functionaries rather than leaders. To what extent could the same be said of U.S. presidents and British prime ministers?

55 Study Questions Which is best for government and the people: regular or slow turnover in the office of the executive? To what extent is factionalism a part of politics in other liberal democracies? Is it something peculiarly Japanese? Compare and contrast the power and role of political parties in Japan and the United States.

56 Study Questions What are the costs and benefits of a single- party-dominant system like that of Japan? Is Japan an economic superpower? Should Japan be allowed to take care of its own defense? What reforms are needed to bring stability to the Japanese political system?

57 Comparative Exercise: Legislatures

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