Tomohito Shinoda | Japan’s Political Institutional Changes and Power Shift

Monday, September 23, 2013 (5:00 PM – 6:30 PM)
Tower Center (map)


Tomohito Shinoda, Professor and Director, Research Institute, International University of Japan

tshinodaDecentralized policy-making power in Japan had developed under the long reign of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP).  In the1990s, institutional changes were introduced, fundamentally altering Japan’s modern political landscape.  This talk tracks these slow yet steady changes to today in the operation of and tensions between Japan’s political parties and the public’s behavior in Japanese elections, as well as in the government’s ability to coordinate diverse policy preferences and respond to political crises.  Electoral reform in 1994 resulted in the selection of Junichiro Koizumi, an anti-mainstream politician, as prime minister in 2001, initiating a power shift to the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) and ending LDP rule.  This talk also details these government and administrative institutional changes and reveals how Prime Minister Koizumi took advantage of such developments to practice strong policymaking leadership.  It also outlines the new set of institutional initiatives introduced by the DPJ government and their impact on policymaking, illustrating the importance of balanced centralized institutions and bureaucratic support.


Open only to Tower Center Forum members, SMU students, faculty and staff.

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