The Changing Japanese Political System
The Liberal Democratic Party and the Ministry of Finance
By Harumi Hori
Routledge – 2005 – 194 pages
Japan’s political stability was shattered after the general election of July 1993 when the conservative Liberal Democratic Party’s thirty-eight year domination ended in defeat. This book examines the impact the 1993 general election had on Japanese politics. Although the LDP regained the position of a ruling party within a year, Hori questions whether the Japanese political system has managed to maintain the same efficacy as it had prior to 1993.
Using institutional analysis Hori argues that this fundamental change caused major institutional transformations; a decline in the importance of LDP organisations in the decision-making process of the government and the Diet, weakened management of the LDP through factions, and detached attitudes of LDP members to MOF bureaucrats. Hori analyzes three cases, one prior to and two after the 1993 election, illustrating just how ineffective the close cooperation between MOF bureaucrats, LDP executives and faction leaders became.
1. Introduction 2. The Japanese Political System – A Historical Institutional Approach 3. The Japanese Political System from the Meiji Era to 1993 4. Changes in the Japanese Political System since 1993 5. Introduction of the Consumption Tax in 1989 6. The Financial Crisis in Japan 1994-1998