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Government and Politics of Japan
Transcript of Government and Politics of Japan
Peacekeeping Operations Law
Limited Operation = "Self-Defense"
Deployment to non-combat zones
Deployment for support, not in the offensive Three primary missions of the SDF:
maintain internal security
maintain order in times of disasters and for the protection of national security.
The SDF is a world class army --- designed to defend Japan in case of a Soviet invasion.
Lacks several capabilities such as aircraft carriers, nuclear submarines, missile defense system (prior to NoKor threats), etc. Self-Defense Forces Soft power? The Controversy of War Memorials Yasukuni Shrine Sanitizing History Textbooks Kamikaze and Yamashita Landmarks
1. Glorification the 14 Class A War Criminals
2. Separation of State and Religion
3. Yushukan Museum (revising history) Alternative: Chidorigafuchi National Cemetery Altered events:
1. "Rape of Nanking" just an "incident"
2. No "Comfort Women," just "sex slaves"
3. Replaced "invasion" with "advanced"
3. Japan was just a victim
4. Class A War Criminals as "Heroes" http://www.tofugu.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/011.jpg By the "Tsukuri Kai" http://news.bbc.co.uk/olmedia/1490000/images/_1492802_museum_ap300.jpg http://www.japan-guide.com/g3/2321_01.jpg http://aroundtokyo.net/blog/wp-content/gallery/chidorigafuchi-national-cemetery/dscf0422.jpg Overseas Development Assistance In giving back for what happened in WWII
Assistance for Third World Countries (only)
Loans, grants, and technical assistance
Projects are not dictated by Japan --- only approved
Japan ODA in PHL (2008) = 33.1% = $302.4 M Kawaii Culture Exporting Japan's pop culture Anime
... and so much more! Causes Outcomes 1993 Elections Corruption Scandals Shipbuilding Scandal (1954) Lockheed Scandal (1976) Recruit Scandal (1988-89) Kyowa Affair (1991) Sagawa Kyubin (1991-93) Structural Corruption 1980 Bubble Economy Burst Unperformed policies Reforms Coalition Government Rise of DPJ and other parties LDP's Resilience http://wgordon.web.wesleyan.edu/kamikaze/monuments/mabalacat-statue/image1.jpg 1993-
Present Big Business Bureaucracy Party (LDP) Iron Triangle The Lost Decade Location:
East Asia, island chain between the North Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Japan, east of the Korean Peninsula
total: 377,915 sq km
land: 364,485 sq km
water: 13,430 sq km
mostly rugged and mountainous Geography Natural resources:
Negligible mineral resources, fish
Japan has virtually no energy natural resources, and is the world's largest importer of coal and liquefied natural gas, as well as the second largest importer of oil
Many dormant and some active volcanoes; about 1,500 seismic occurrences (mostly tremors but occasional severe earthquakes) every year; tsunamis; typhoons Map of Japan (Source: CIA Factbook) Government type:
A parliamentary government with a constitutional monarchy
47 prefectures The Government Chief of state: Emperor AKIHITO (since 7 January 1989)
Succeeded his father, Hirohito, in 1989.
Under the 1947 constitution, Japan's emperors have a purely ceremonial role as "the symbol of the State and of the unity of the people“, and is without the possession of sovereignty The Emperor Head of government (2012):
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, of the Liberal Democratic Party
Cabinet is appointed by the prime minister
The ministries are the most influential part of the executive The Executive Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso (and also finance minister) former prime minister
Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida formerly a state minister under Abe
Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera former deputy foreign minister under Abe
Justice Minister Sadakazu Tanadaki former head of LDP) Notable members of the Abe Cabinet (AFP Photo) Diet designates the prime minister; constitution requires that the prime minister commands parliamentary majority.
Following legislative elections, the leader of majority party or leader of majority coalition in House of Representatives usually becomes prime minister
the monarchy is hereditary
Suffrage : 20 years of age, universal Elections Bicameral Diet or Kokkai
House of Councilors or Sangi-in – the upper house
(242 seats - members elected for fixed six-year terms; half reelected every three years; 146 members in multi-seat constituencies and 96 by proportional representation)
House of Representatives or Shugi-in – the lower house; the more powerful house
(480 seats - members elected for maximum four-year terms; 300 in single-seat constituencies; 180 members by proportional representation in 11 regional blocs) Legislature The prime minister has the right to dissolve the House of Representatives at any time with the concurrence of the cabinet
Article 41 of the Constitution calls the Diet the "the highest organ of state power" and "the sole law-making organ of the State“
Also approves the annual national budget, ratifies treaties, drafts constitutional amendments
Also designates the Prime Minister (Article 67) Supreme Court
Chief justice is appointed by the monarch after designation by the cabinet; all other justices are appointed by the cabinet
Summary Courts Judiciary Enacted on 3 May 1947
Also known as the “Postwar Constitution” or the “Peace Constitution”
Emphasizes democracy and liberalism (in contrast to pre-war militarism and absolute monarchy)
No amendment has been made to it since its adoption (an issue that has been brought up recently) Constitution Democratic Party of Japan or DPJ [Yoshihiko NODA]
Japan Communist Party or JCP [Kazuo SHII]
Liberal Democratic Party or LDP [Shinzo ABE]
New Komeito or NK [Natsuo YAMAGUCHI]
People's New Party or PNP [Mikio SHIMOJI]
Social Democratic Party or SDP [Mizuho FUKUSHIMA]
Your Party or YP [Yoshimi WATANABE] Political Parties World Bank income group: high income
Political Rights score: 1 (1)
Civil Liberties score: 2 (1)
Human Development index: 0.901 (1.000)
Freedom of the press index: -1.000 (0.000 midpoint)
Perceived corruption index: 8 (10) Other notable information Population:
127,368,088 (July 2012 est.)
(country comparison to the world: 10/239)
8.39 births/1,000 population (2012 est.)
(country comparison to the world: 217 /229)
9.15 deaths/1,000 population (July 2012 est.)
(country comparison to the world: 63 /231)
Population Growth Rate:
-0.077% (2012 est.) Population Natural change Age Structure: (2012 estimates)
13.5% = 0-14 years (male 8,927,803 / female 8,268,937)
62.6% = 15-64 years (male 39,850,531 / female 39,909,944)
23.9% = 65 years and over (male 13,097,558 / female 17,313,315)
At birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
<15 years: 1.08 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.76 male(s)/female
Total: 0.94 male(s)/female (2011 est.) Source: CIA World Factbook Birth rate:
Decline may be attributed to rising maternal age at childbirth
Average mother’s age at childbirth
1970 25.6 years
2011 30.1 years
1.39 children born/woman (2012 est.)
country comparison to the world: 206 Death rate:
Has gone up since 1988
In 2011 = 9.9
Total population: 83.91 years
Country comparison to the world: 3rd
male: 80.57 years
female: 87.43 years (2012 est.) Expenditures:
3.5% of GDP (2007)
Country comparison to the world: 117
Definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 99%
female: 99% (2002) Education Japanese 98.5%
"Homogeneously Japanese Population"
Note: Japanese population census asks nationality rather than ethnic background, so naturalized Japanese citizens and Japanese nationals with multi-ethnic background are recognized as ethnically Japanese Ethnic Groups More than 2.5 million, and increasing
North and South Koreans 1 million
Chinese 0.6 million
Filipinos 0.5 million
Note: there is an increase of 15,000 new Japanese citizens by naturalization (帰化) per year Foreign Citizens Shintoism 83.9%
Many people belong to both Shintoism and Buddhism (2005) Religions Pro-business policies; state sponsorship Financial support Enactment of bills;
Less red tape
Helped in building Japan, Inc. Cons:
Hotbed of corruption
Overpowered bureaucracy A system where "senior bureaucrats retire into well-paid sinecures at companies they previously supervised in their official duties or take up top positions at state subsidized “public interest ” corporations related to the ministry from which they retire" (Kingston, 2011) Raised interest rates
Stock market collapsed
Dwindling consumer spending
Domestic violence soared Simultaneous with Heisei Era (1989) The 1955 system was known for improving the economy What happened? Habatsu (Faction) system Support base of the LDP Stagnant Economic Growth Demographic Time Bomb Natural Disasters Energy Security Democratic Party of Japan LDP's main rival since 1998
Formed as a merger of opposition parties:
DPJ (defunct party in response to JSP; 19961998; led by Yukio Hatoyama and Naoto Kan)
New Fraternity Party
Good Governance Party
Democratic Reform Party
Liberal Party (in 2003; led by Ichiro Ozawa)
"Democratic Centrist" (i.e. Center-left)
Representing "citizens, taxpayers, and consumers"
Focus on reforms Big Business Bureaucracy Party (LDP) Iron Triangle Amakaduri System
("descent from heaven") toleration of lobbying Defined legislation Pros:
Less red tape
Helped in building Japan, Inc. Cons:
Hotbed of corruption
Overpowered bureaucracy Policy affairs research council Policy affairs research council Cost huge amounts of money to maintain Koenkai (instead of party branches)
Elderly "Bottom-up" government Faction loyalty > Party loyalty Access to pork barrel
Access to financial support
Key to premiership Factions The Party (LDP) In order to maintain loyalty to the party, faction members ask the following in return: Cut government spending
Cut public expenditures
Support business groups (for more finances)
Prevent LDP priority to social groups In an effort to maintain power during the 1980s, LDP has devised the following measures: Become "catch-all" (due to waning popularity)
Favor social groups (e.g. middle-class, consumers)
Focus on public and government expenditures Party loyalty
Faction loyalty Pre-1993 Factions Eisaku Noboru Kakuei The LDP was forced: to perform budget cuts
to ask for US support (for economic security)
to issue regulations (pro-business) Consequences Lose factions' loyalty to the party
Series of corruption scandals
Fast waning popularity
Dwindling "performance legitimacy"
Income disparities widened During 1991-1993, amidst corruption scandals, LDP promised for political reform legislation
However, the government of PM Kiichi Myazawa (1991-1993) failed to pass such legislation
Instead, the LDP-led government pushed for neo-liberal economic policies to counteract the bubble burst (lower taxes, strengthen US-Japan alliance) In 1954, it was uncovered that to lobby for a 1953 law which allowed shipbuilding companies to borrow below the market rate, huge bribes were paid to politicians and leading bureaucrats.
The scandal contributed to the collapse of the Yoshida cabinet, but only one person convicted was actually sent to prison, out of 71 persons arrested.
Sato Eisaku, who was also involved, would later become Prime Minister (1964-72) and receive the Nobel Prize in 1974. At the summit meeting between President Nixon and Japanese Prime Minister Kakuei Tanaka in August 1972 it was agreed that Japan was to import large numbers of Lockheed aircraft.
In July 1976, i.e. when the Miki government was in power, Tanaka was arrested for having allegedly received so-called ”success payments” from Lockheed, amounting to the sum of 500 million Yen.
Although there was proof that monies had been accepted, no charges were made. Instead, the names of the 17 members of parliament were published.
Both in the first and second court hearing in 1983 and 1987 respectively, Tanaka was sentenced. He submitted an appeal, but with his death in 1993 court proceedings came to an end. The Recruit Scandal centred around Recruit Cosmos, a part of the Recruit Group of Enterprises, accused of issuing shares to leading politicians, civil servants, and representatives of associations and the mass media, before these were traded at the stock exchange.
The idea was to enable the persons thus favored to sell the shares again with profit after they were officially listed. The financing of these deals was often done through interest-free loans made available by one of Recruit’s own finance companies. This affair involved payments to Abe Fumio by Kyôwa, a steel-girder construction firm. When the scandal broke, Abe was Secretary General of the Kiichi Miyazawa faction of the LDP.
Prior to that, he had been head of the Hokkaidô and Okinawa Development Agencies. In exchange for payments, Abe arranged (via another politician) contacts to the Marubeni trading company, providing Kyôwa – by also bringing in former Prime Minister Suzuki – with the approval to build a golf course.
Amid accusations of corruption, Abe resigned in December 1991. He was arrested in January 1992 and in May 1994 sentenced to two years imprisonment. The Sagawa Kyûbin parcel service firm donated generous sums of money to politicians of the LDP responsible for transport matters as well as to other influential politicians in other parties.
A rapidly expanding firm, Sagawa Kyûbin had high hopes of thus obtaining the licences for a nationwide parcel service. What was special about this affair was the fact that monies had not only been paid to politicians, but also to one of the syndicates of organized crime (”Yakuza”).
The fact that Kanemaru Shin, the Deputy Secretary General of the LDP, had actively sought such contacts while engaged in the election campaign of Takeshita Noboru, greatly damaged confidence in the LDP In exchange for these transactions and political donations, various enterprises belonging to the Recruit Group received substantial help from politicians and the bureaucracy, thus gaining considerable advantages.
The scandal made clear that not only had individual politicians been bribed, but almost all important politicians had accepted payments from Recruit.
The affair came to a head with the resignation of Prime Minister Takeshita Noboru in April 1989. The Liberal Democratic Party Government (Second-generation politicians, LDP splinter factions and members), and the opposition parties cast a vote of no confidence to PM Kiichi Miyazawa
PM Kiichi Miyazawa was forced to dissolve the parliament
Election was set on July 18, 1993 PM Kiichi Miyazawa Precursor The Liberal Democratic Party lost the overall majority for the first time and also failed to form a government for the first time since 1955.
The Eight-party alliance (anti-LDP coalition) won the majority and took over the government
Morihiro Hosokawa ascended to the premiership
(The Japan Socialist Party (JSP) actually lost more votes, and was utterly defeated) Aftermath PM Morihiro Hosokawa The LDP regained power in a coalition government with the Japan Socialist Party and New Party Sakigake led by PM Tomiichi Murayama in 1994, 11 months after the LDP's political hiatus
In 1996, the LDP was finally back in government control without a coalition
Amid political reforms, the LDP (and other parties later on) was able to discover and take advantage of the loopholes in the new electoral system kozo oshoku seiken kotai = "Political Change" 1. Businesses will still be able to give money to both national and local party organizations
(Politicians will therefore be able to transform their local support organizations into local party organizations)
2. Business contributions given to national party organizations will be able to be allocated to influential politicians.
(In essence, the contribution to the party would be given with invisible "strings" attached.)
Christensen (1996) Loopholes MSD, SNTV The Eight-Party Alliance New Party Sakigake (Harbinger)
Shinseito (Renewal) Party
Komeito (Justice) Party
Japan New Party
Social Democratic Federation
Japanese Socialist Party
Democratic Socialist Party
Japan Renewal Party Liberal Democratic Party
Japan Communist Party Political Funds Control Law
Increase transparency of political donations
Raising funds -- party's responsibility, not from individual politicians
Shift from money politics to party-centered politics
From Medium-Sized District, Single Non-Transferable Vote, to Mixed Member Proportional
Shift from personal-oriented and factional politics to party-centered politics MMP 3-5 members to the Diet were elected in a particular constituency, but each voter had only one vote
A party had to run more than one candidate
Created intra-party competition -- only one could get the seat
Propagated factionalism -- factions are an individual politician's access to financial support; no faction leader would support more than one candidate
Opportunity for minority parties to be represented 300 members of the House of Representatives - by single-district, plurality vote
200 members by proportional vote (via party)
Single-member district only
Two separate ballots for voters
Designed to eliminate intra-party competition and factionalism
Encouraged party politics
Increased small party representation Features of the Japanese Economy:
Business-based (due to capitalism)
Three fundamental objectives:
Securing food supply
Restructuring financial system
Ensuring food supply Phases of economic crises in Japan:
1960s - Real GNP / Era of Nouveau Riche
1970s - Commodity prices / Era of Recession
1980s - Interest rates / Era of Bubble Economy Oil Crises and their effects on Japan's economy First Oil Crisis Current Japanese Economy Why the economy still remains weak? Second Oil Crisis Collapse of Bretton Woods International Monetary system based on US dollar and losing continuous and stable oil supply.
Energy prices and turbulence in foreign exchange rates caused by altered structure of competitive advantages causing business failures and unemployment. Reagonomics
Recession: Japan became highly dependent on US dollar standard. Exchange rate fell dramatically and exports decreased.
Bubble economy: Lower interest rate policy of Japan to relieve the pressure on overwhelmed Japanese Yen caused the value of stock prices and real estate to rise significantly.
Crash of Japanese stock market: Tightening of money supply due to higher discount rate left Japan unprepared in 1990. Japan is the 22nd freest economy in the 2012 index with 71.6 score. However, its 1.2 lower than its 2011 score due to decline in the control of government spending.
Their foundations of economic freedom are based on effective judicial framework, very low level of inflation and "almost complete" absence of corruption.
Through the years, economic freedom remains uneven since 1992 due to strong political hush from country’s leadership, making its economy stagnant for almost 20 years.
Large and growing public debt on private-sector economic activity, disparities in productivity, financial sector subject to political interference and non-tariff barriers in its trade activities define Japan’s stagnant economy.
The massive earthquake and tsunami in March 2011 also caused stressed more the economy of Japan. 'Business cycles'
Non-performing loans of banks
Aging population + snowballing government debt
Hollowing out, losing competitiveness
Rise of China Japan is a hyper-aged society with a dwindling population. Hyper-aged society means a high-mortality society.
It is expected that Japan might go through a variation in its population structure over the next few decades.
The drop in fertility rates in Japan after the Postwar Baby Boom in 1947-1949 particularly in the mid 1970s led to a demographic shift. First Trend Second Trend Third Trend Fourth Trend Fifth Trend Overall decline in population Increase in elderly population Decline in births and drop of population of young people Rapid decline in working population Rapid increase in the old-age dependency rate From 128.06 million might decline to 86.71 million in between 2010 and 2060.
The factors causing decline include the increase in the number of deaths as population ages and the decline in the number of births. From 29.48 million in 2010, there is an estimated increase to 37.41 million in 2035. By 2060, it will further escalate to 39.9%. This means that one out of every four people in the Japanese society will be 65 or older.
These also result to the increase of 40% in death rates during this certain period. With 16.84 million in 2010, it will fall to 11.29 million in 2035 to 7.91 million in 2060.
This is primarily due to the decline in the number of women of child-bearing age as a result of the earlier drop in the fertility rate. By 2060, an estimated 44.18 million will be the working-age population which is half the population in year 2010 at around 81.73 million.
This means that the population supporting the elderly is declining. The ratio of elderly to working-age population will heighten.
In 1985, there were 7 working-age people for each dependent elderly person. By 2010, it dropped to 2.8 and 1.7 by 2035. The situation will worsen by 2060 with an estimated 1.3. Effects Economic Social Political Decline in working-age population will lead to drop in the savings rate.
Shrinkage of Japanese markets due to population changes will make it less attractive place for business investment.
A cut into the labor force will put pressure on wages.
Manufacturers might move production bases overseas due to the gap on labor costs.
This will also impact the public debt of Japan. The smaller the population of the country, the larger the debt burden on each individual. Rapid increase in old-age dependency rate threatens the financial sustainability of such a system or raise serious equity issues regarding the distribution of burdens and benefits.
Demographic aging and population decline affect the health care system since it involves the delivery of services prior to financing (reimbursement, procurement). It will create a nation with overall decline in national power Problems
Pay-as-you-go system creates inter-generational inequities. Elderly pensioners had to support their own parents before the public pension system was in place.
Funded system, on the other hand, will create a gigantic public pension fund. But problems on how to raise a fund and protect it from inflation and ensuring a minimum level of income in real terms generate a question.
A shift to a more holistic, patient centered model of health care is being proposed. Typhoons are commonplace; earthquakes and tsunamis are the most notorious.
Japan sits along the Pacific Ring of Fire, a geologically active zone where the tectonic plates in the Earth’s crust rub against each other. March 11, 2012 9.0 earthquake and tsunami hit Japan.
It was listed first among the five most expensive natural disasters in history.
The damaged caused reached to $235 billion according to World Bank. However, the failure of the cooling system at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant resulted also to more damages.
Japanese government had a higher estimate of $309 billion without including the reparation caused by the Nuclear Power Plant failure
There were 8,649 confirmed dead and 13, 262 missing. Japan is the world’s biggest importer of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) and now consumes nearly a third of global output.
Currently, Japan is experiencing a nuclear crisis after the Fukushima nuclear disaster in March, 2011.
On September 2012, the Japanese government decided to phase out nuclear power by the end of the 2030s.
However, rapid phase out of nuclear power will greatly affect various businesses and localities through which incomes are largely based on nuclear power plants. The Dilemma The Solution Possible implications There is a great necessity for alternative sources if nuclear power is phase out.
Japan needs to ensure there will be countries that will provide them with supply of Liquefied Natural Gas. Japanese trading firms target to turn American gas into LNG for export to Japan.
Japan strengthens relationship with Russia as the latter provides a tenth of Japan’s LNG. Establishment of LNG export markets in Japan and any parts of Asia is being planned by Russia’s president Vladimir Putin.
Australia and Canada are also prospective exporter of LNG to Japan. Abandonment of nuclear energy in Japan would damage Japan’s reputation of being a nuclear technology leader.
According to International Energy Agency director Nabuo Tanaka, the energy policy implemented by Japan which was eccentrically based on the Fukushima disaster is an idiocy.
The moment Japan implement its new energy policy, it would seriously affect Asia as a whole leaving US and entire Europe less dependent on Middle East oil imports.
Since US will slowly become independent on energy sources, this might affect the present military assistance in Middle East. Japan might decrease also its military commitment to the said region being allies with US. Japan heavily needs the region for energy supply needs. The first Japanese election under the new MMP electoral system
LDP won the majority via a coalition with JSP and Sakigake Party
The incumbent PM, Ryutaro Hashimoto, also an LDP member, is voted as Prime Minister
The opposition parties, with the "opposition leader" Ichiro Ozawa, were the New Frontier Party, DPJ, and the Democratic Reform League.
The collapse and disorganization of the 8-Party Alliance led to LDP's rise in coalition with the parties which were LDP's rivals.
1996 Elections PM Junichiro Koizumi (2001-2006) Third generation politician
Member of the House of Representatives since 1972
Ran for LDP president in 1995, and 1998 but lost; won in 2001 and was confirmed as prime minister Strong reformist, often described as a maverick widely popular and charismatic, came in with a 65% approval rating
Had a cabinet that snubbed traditional party factions and included five women
Pushed for economic reforms: with focus on government debt and privatization of the Japan Post. Also against the practice of supporting failing businesses As prime minister Allocation of cabinet posts based on merit and not by faction
Lessening of government borrowing, and of spending on public works
Sorting out of bad loans by banks
Privatisation of the Japan Post (also the world’s biggest bank) Domestic policy Expanded the Japan Self-Defense Forces
Strong support for the USA
Diplomatic and financial support during Sept 11 attacks
Dispatch of Japanese troops to Iraq
Visits to Yasukuni Shrine (which caused diplomatic relations with China and South Korea to deteriorate) Foreign policy His image as a reformist went down amid disappointment with his progress on economic reform, and his decision to send Japanese troops to Iraq
But remained popular, and was confirmed as prime minister again in 2003 In 2005, the Upper House rejected the post privatization bills. Koizumi dissolved the Lower House and called for snap elections.
The LDP returned with their largest victory since 1986, holding the majority of the Lower House. The bills for postal privatization were passed. Koizumi stepped down in 2006 without choosing a successor.
He remained in the Diet until 2008, when he announced his retirement. Junichiro Koizumi