Thinking about Japanese democracy

With the Upper House elections now a week away, it is worthwhile to step back and think about Japan's political system. At least that's what I did recently, reading Bradley Richardson's Japanese Democracy: Power, Coordination, and Performance — this month's recommended book.Published in 1997, Richardson's book is obviously not the place to go for analysis …

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What would a liberal Japan actually look like?

Project Syndicate has posted an essay based on a speech by Joseph Nye in Tokyo last month, in which he foresees the rise of a "liberal" Japan.Calling attention to Asahi's series of twenty-one editorials [series available at Japan Focus] outlining a vision for Japan, Nye argues on its behalf, observing that Asahi's vision provides a …

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Death of the 1955 system? Greatly exaggerated.

With Prime Minister Abe turning his attention and blame to the hapless bureaucrats in the Social Insurance Agency — those bureaucrats who have served as the fly in his constitution revision ointment — the Japan Times published a piece by Philip Brasor discussing the actual conditions within the agency, and the bureaucrats who lorded over …

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