Political Change in Japan: Electoral Behavior, Party Realignment, and the Koizumi Reforms

Author(s): Kenneth McElwain, Steven R. Reed, Kaoru (Kay) Shimizu


In the past twenty years, Japanese politics has undergone many dramatic changes. Electoral reform altered the relationship between politicians and voters, and Japan has steadily moved toward a two-party system.  Amid these shifts, it remains unclear where Japanese politics is heading, and whether the changes we observe now will stand the test of time. Each chapter in this wide-ranging volume addresses a key political development in Japan, notably voting behavior, the relationship between politicians and bureaucrats, gender gaps in political candidacies, and clientelistic versus ideological politics. Political Change in Japan likewise includes extensive discussion of former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's dramatic career. In sum, the book's contributors assess not only the direction but also the probable permanence of political change in Japan (Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center).

Publication Information:

Publisher: Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center

Year of Publication: 2009