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Politicians and Policymaking in Japan

Defining the Role of Politicians

By Gerald L. Curtis

A major evolution in Japan’s system of governance has been taking place in recent years as politicians have increasingly begun to participate in the policymaking process where bureaucrats used to play the predominant role. The six chapters in this volume are written by members of the Diet from the Liberal Democratic, Democratic, and New Komeito parties. These members of the new generation of politicians in Japan are concerned about designing a new architecture for policymaking.

Relations between politicians and bureaucrats and how those relations should be restructured are discussed. Restructuring the policymaking process also involves questions of the relationships between the prime minister and the governing party organizations, the role of Diet committees, and the issue of staff support for politicians, parties, the Diet, and the prime minister. Each chapter explores these and other policymaking matters in the context of a specific policy issue, such as finance, information technology, public works, education, and corporate policy. Chapters provide important insights into the substantive issue at hand and the policy process relating to it.

Contributors include Japanese House of Representatives members Nemoto Takumi, Furukawa Motohisa, Ito Tatsuya, Maehara Seiji, Hase Hiroshi, and Ueda Isamu.

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