Contested Governance & Values in Contemporary Japanese Politics

dc.contributor.authorLam, Peng Er
dc.descriptionAbstract only.en
dc.description.abstract• Main axis of political contestation in postwar Japan is not between “Western” and “Asian values” but the struggle for the constitutional “soul” of Japan --- embracing or rejecting the pacifistic constitution (with the famous and unique war-renouncing Article 9). • Another emerging axis: the political cleavage between the center (Tokyo) & the periphery (e.g. Osaka): between the centralized Meiji warfare state/ postwar pacifist welfare state & a looser federated Japan coalescing around 9 regional blocs. • This is not to say that Asian political scientists (e.g. Chan Heng Chee) have not noted the remarkable resilience of Japan’s LDP one-party dominance at the national level (1955-2009 [except 1993]; 2012 --) as being similar to other Asian perennial one-party rule in Malaysia, Singapore & Taiwan. • T.J. Pempel: Japan is an “uncommon democracy” without alternation of power between major political parties. However, Japan’s one-party dominance collapsed in 2009  possibility of a “2-party plus” system. But is Japan a more common democracy today? • Rightwing nationalist Ishihara Shintaro has also made common cause with former Malaysian PM Mahathir by co-writing a book “Asia that can say no”. • However, some Japanese would situate their country as a member of the “West” during the Cold War (US-Japan Alliance) and a member of the G8 today. • Tokyo: advocates “democratization” as an important consideration when it disburses Official Development Assistance to poor developing countries. • PM Abe Shinzo: advocated a quadrangular alliance of democracies (Japan, US, Australia & India) presumably against authoritarian China. Central argument: Japanese governance & politics are marked by profound continuity despite significant change in values, party system & governance. Some of these political changes are universal but the unending contest for the constitutional soul of postwar Japan is uniquely Japanese.en
dc.relation.ispartofseriesCUSAPS conference;No. 103 / 2013en
dc.titleContested Governance & Values in Contemporary Japanese Politicsen
dc.typeWorking Paperen
License bundle
Now showing 1 - 1 of 1
No Thumbnail Available
2.73 KB
Item-specific license agreed upon to submission