The Japanese Political System

1124 Words Jun 21st, 2018 5 Pages
From the Meiji Restoration era, democratization efforts were undertaken to modernize Japan. A bicameral system of legislature as well as local, though unelected assemblies were created in the image of the Prussian model (Haddad, 2012, p. 50) and a Constitution placing absolute power with the monarch was formed. Although the main intention of the oligarchs behind the Constitution was to have the national Diet as an advisory body, they "created a series of 'transcendental cabinets' which answered to the Emperor" (Haddad, 2012, p. 50), Bureaucrats were important tools during this period as they were the people with the knowledge necessary to enable the country to function. .... This importance placed in them stemmed .... As a large …show more content…
• One of the smallest and most efficient = implementing policies --> "As a result, policy making became highly segmented as particular bureaus and bureaucrats became more specialized" (Haddad, 2012, p. 60)
• large role in politics = policy making, allocation of resources, distribution of power
• "Since SCAP (Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers) - McArthur - held the real policy-making power during the Occupation, politicians exercised their influence in large part as a mediating influence rather than as policy makers. "

High point - Japanese Miracle of 50s to 70s
• prestegious, civil service exam, on-job training, professionals - lifetime
• politicians were also mainly lifers, and initially had expertise in the ministry they were placed in, but then moved up to the committees - Zokus
• Zoku (Tribe) - Back when a noob is first elected and is assigned to a ministry as a parliamentary secretary, he becomes specialized in that field and so as a member of the transportation zoku for example, you can influence the construction of a road or railway system in your district o Jobs = Money = re-election
• "Politicians reign, but bureaucrats rule" - Chalmers Johnson
• Bureaucrats' relations with the private sector grew stronger as "catch-up" and "growth first" policy goals gained dominance within the administration and society
• It helps that the elites within the bureaucracy and business came from similar backgrounds and universities and this tended to

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