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Political Opposition and Local Politics in Japan

Political Opposition and Local Politics in Japan

Kurt Steiner
Ellis S. Krauss
Scott C. Flanagan
Copyright Date: 1980
Pages: 496
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt7ztgzp
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    Political Opposition and Local Politics in Japan
    Book Description:

    Japan's national government, and most of its local governments, have been in conservative hands for more than three decades. Recently, however, the strength of progressive opposition forces has been increasing at the local level. The contributors to this volume analyze this increasing opposition to determine whether it is a temporary phenomenon or portends permanent changes

    Originally published in 1981.

    ThePrinceton Legacy Libraryuses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These paperback editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

    eISBN: 978-1-4008-5704-3
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
    (pp. ix-x)
    KURT STEINER, SCOTT C. FLANAGAN and ELLIS S. KRAUSS
  4. PART ONE Introduction

    • CHAPTER 1 TOWARD A FRAMEWORK FOR THE STUDY OF LOCAL OPPOSITION
      (pp. 3-32)
      Kurt Steiner

      This volume has two main purposes: to describe and analyze the spectacular developments in Japanese local politics over the last decade and a half and to contribute to theory building in a relatively new subfield of comparative politics, namely comparative local politics. Up to now the literature in this subfield tended to concentrate on Europe on the one hand and on the Third World on the other hand. By adding the case of Japan, we hope to facilitate a broader comparative analysis; by focusing on the relationship between local politics and political opposition, we want to add a new dimension...

  5. PART TWO Electoral Trends

    • CHAPTER 2 ELECTORAL CHANGE IN JAPAN: AN OVERVIEW
      (pp. 35-54)
      Scott C. Flanagan

      Electoral trends are giving rise to a new politics in Japan. The cumulative magnitude of changes in partisan support over the last thirty years has been very substantial. Moreover these trends have recently brought the conservative-progressive electoral balance to the brink of a critical threshold that if crossed may potentially bring about a fundamental realignment of the party system and a dramatic reorientation in Japanese foreign and domestic policy. Thus an analysis of Japanese electoral trends is an important study in and of itself. It is particularly fitting, however, to conduct this analysis in the context of a study of...

    • CHAPTER 3 POLITICAL OPPOSITION AND BIG CITY ELECTIONS IN JAPAN, 1947-1975
      (pp. 55-94)
      Terry Edward MacDougall

      Electoral politics in Japan’s big cities has undergone dramatic changes in the past two decades. Conservative electoral support in the country’s major urban areas—Tokyo, Yokohama, Nagoya, Kyoto, Osaka, Kobe, and KitaKyushu—has dropped from the fifty and sixty percent ranges in national and local elections up to the early sixties to a third or a quarter of the vote in the mid-1970s. Although the urban electoral decline of the conservatives has not affected the ability of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) to hold onto the reins of the national government, it has ended LDP and conservative independent absolute majorities...

    • CHAPTER 4 OPPOSITION IN THE SUBURBS
      (pp. 95-130)
      Gary D. Allinson

      “The engine of progressive government is steaming down the Chūō Line to sweep established groups from power and to replace them with popular, progressive administrations.” In the early 1970s, this was the rallying cry of Japan’s opposition parties in western Tokyo. The purported engine began moving along the Chūō Line in 1962, when the city of Chōfu elected a mayor who ran as a declared candidate of the Socialist Party. In the next year, voters in Musashino also elected a Socialist mayor. Subsequently, seven more progressives came to office in the area. By the mid-1970s, nine of the twenty-six cities...

    • CHAPTER 5 NATIONAL AND LOCAL VOTING TRENDS: CROSS-LEVEL LINKAGES AND CORRELATES OF CHANGE
      (pp. 131-184)
      Scott C. Flanagan

      In this chapter we will pursue two questions that were raised in the preceding chapters of Part Two. The first question concerns how we account for the long-term incremental growth of political opposition in Japan. In particular, we are interested in understanding why the erosion of one-party dominance is primarily an urban phenomenon, for it is this pattern of uneven opposition growth that has given rise to Japan’s dual politics. The second question relates to the differences that are found in voting patterns between national and local elections. We have observed a general pattern of opposition growth on all three...

  6. PART THREE Citizens’ Movements

    • CHAPTER 6 CITIZENS’ MOVEMENTS: THE GROWTH AND IMPACT OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTEST IN JAPAN
      (pp. 187-227)
      Ellis S. Krauss and Bradford L. Simcock

      The rise and growth of citizens’ movements (CMs), particularly those protesting environmental pollution, is viewed by many observers as one of the most important and spectacular trends in contemporary Japanese history and politics. According to some surveys, there were at least 3,000 such movements based upon the mobilization of residents in a local area in 1973, a tenfold increase in the number of such groups since 1970. The protest activity carried out by these groups has also been significant: some estimates are that as many as 10,000 local disputes were being carried out in 1973,¹ and as early as 1971,...

    • CHAPTER 7 POLITICAL SOCIALIZATION THROUGH CITIZENS’ MOVEMENTS
      (pp. 228-273)
      Margaret A. McKean

      The emergence of citizens’ movements (CMs) in Japan has led to much speculation about their political significance, and claims have ranged from the modest to the fantastic.¹ Some have argued that citizens’ movements are a manifestation of a changing political culture in Japan, incorporating new political attitudes and beliefs, a new popular philosophy of citizenship, and the beginning ofkusa no ne(grass-roots) democracy.² Some also say that citizens’ movements are achieving more responsive and responsible local governments as well as greater local autonomy.³ Others have noted the parallel development of citizens’ movements and progressive local governments, and they have...

    • CHAPTER 8 CIVIC PROTEST IN MISHIMA: CITIZENS’ MOVEMENTS AND THE POLITICS OF THE ENVIRONMENT IN CONTEMPORARY JAPAN
      (pp. 274-314)
      Jack G. Lewis

      To students of mass politics in Japan, the recent emergence of citizens’ movements is perhaps the most outstanding development in the postwar period. Many observers recognize a simple distinction between two types of citizens’ movements involved in environmental politics: incompensation movementsaggrieved residents organize to demand payment for injuries to their health resultant from pollution; inenvironmental protection movementsresidents organize to impede developments that may worsen the quality of the local environment.¹ Compensation movements such as the movement concerned with mercury poisoning in Minamata, with the “itai-itai” disease in Toyama prefecture, and with asthma and other air pollution...

  7. PART FOUR Progressive Local Administrations

    • CHAPTER 9 PROGRESSIVE LOCAL ADMINISTRATIONS: LOCAL PUBLIC POLICY AND LOCAL-NATIONAL RELATIONS
      (pp. 317-352)
      Kurt Steiner

      In the preceding parts of this volume we looked first at the electoral trends that led to the rise of progressive local governments and their relationship to electoral trends at the national level. We then discussed the character and effect of citizens’ movements. In the part that follows, we focus on the progressive local administrations themselves. The chapter by Ellis Krauss is a case study of the leftist Ninagawa administration in Kyoto prefecture. Ronald Aqua’s paper deals with the important questions of whether and to what extent the progressive political coloration of local administrations is reflected in their policies, and...

    • CHAPTER 10 POLITICAL CHOICE AND POLICY CHANGE IN MEDIUM-SIZED JAPANESE CITIES, 1962-1974
      (pp. 353-382)
      Ronald Aqua

      In a variety of ways, the contributors to this volume analyze the localistic forces that have challenged the authority of the central government in recent years. It is important to remember, however, that subnational policy processes need to be discussed in the context of the policies and programs of the central government in Tokyo. Several of the authors have already indicated that local policy makers confront many structural and political constraints when setting local priorities.¹ Thus, as progressive administrations assume office in many areas and citizens’ movements thwart important developmental initiatives of the central government, a shift in the flow...

    • CHAPTER 11 OPPOSITION IN POWER: THE DEVELOPMENT AND MAINTENANCE OF LEFTIST GOVERNMENT IN KYOTO PREFECTURE
      (pp. 383-424)
      Ellis S. Krauss

      By almost any measure, Kyoto prefecture has deserved its reputation as the “stronghold” (toride), “beacon” (tōdai), and “source” (genten) of leftist local government in Japan. Its former governor, Ninagawa Torazō, was first elected to office in 1950, but unlike other progressive local executives who came into office on the tide of leftist sentiment in the immediate postwar years, Ninagawa survived its ebb in the 1950s and early 1960s.¹ By the time of his retirement in 1978, he had been reelected seven times, a record for Japanese gubernatorial incumbents. The twenty-eight years of his prefectural administration represent the longest continuous progressive...

  8. PART FIVE Conclusion

    • CHAPTER 12 THE PARTISAN POLITICIZATION OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT: CAUSES AND CONSEQUENCES
      (pp. 427-470)
      Scott C. Flanagan, Kurt Steiner and Ellis S. Krauss

      The various sections and chapters of this book have demonstrated that a great variety of fundamental changes have been taking place within the local political arena, including the expansion of the opposition party vote in local elections, the growth of citizens’ movements, and the rise of progressive administrations. In short, we are witnessing apoliticizationof local politics in Japan. We will conclude this study of political opposition and local politics with a discussion of the broader system effects of the intrusion of oppositions and partisan political contestation into local politics. Traditionally most observers have strongly opposed the politicization of...

  9. List of Contributors
    (pp. 471-472)
  10. INDEX
    (pp. 473-486)