Hashimoto Daijiro: key to a DPJ government?

As noted by MTC in this post, Hashimoto Daijiro, who served as governor of Kochi prefecture for sixteen years (1991-2007), has announced that before the next general election he will create a new party dedicated to radical decentralization that will give prefectural and local governments the tools with which to tackle socio-economic problems that have …

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Regional decentralization is out of reach, for now

Bad news for Aso Taro: progress towards substantial decentralization may be impossible to realize.So says the government's Prefectural Integration Vision consultation group, which released an interim report on Monday. The whole report is available for download here, in PDF format.According to Mainichi, the group — which was formed in January 2007 under Mr. Abe — …

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Recommended Book: Democracy Without Competition in Japan, Ethan Scheiner

"First-rate economics, third-rate politics."This phrase has long been shorthand for the LDP's half-century of nearly uninterrupted rule, despite corruption and high levels of unpopularity among the Japanese people (although of late there might be some convergence between economics and politics).Japanese and non-Japanese scholars have concocted numerous explanations for the LDP's enduring hold on power. Some …

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Kan in the lion’s den

On Friday, the National Governors Association held its second meeting in Nagata-cho in as many months, an emergency meeting to protest plans to end the special fund for road construction by redirecting gasoline tax revenue into the general fund. Higashikokubaru Hideo, popular comedian-cum-governor of Miyazaki prefecture, evoked the name of bankrupt Yubari City in calling …

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