electronic journal of contemporary japanese
Discussion Paper 4 in 2003
First published in ejcjs on
13 August 2003
How to contribute to
Japanese Politics, US Politics, and Supposed International Norms
Department of Political Science
University of Pittsburgh
e-mail the Author
To learn more about the author please look at his
“Japanese exceptionalism” – we see this term frequently in the literature
on Japanese politics. Some regard Japan’s postwar economic success as a
miracle and attribute it to Japanese culture (Nakane 1967; Muramatsu et al.
1992). The Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) is viewed frequently as
organizationally distinctive. This distinctiveness is sometimes thought to
be the result of culture (Thayer 1969; Curtis 1971) or the electoral system
However, Japan is not the only country that has been labeled
exceptional. The United States, for instance, has been often seen as
different from other countries. Numerous attempts have been made to
demonstrate the exceptional features of the United States and the reasons
for it. Some see the small role of the government as exceptional (Steinmo
1994; King 1973). Others emphasize the distinctive values and institutions
in the United States (Lipset 1990; Kingdon 1999). Some attribute American
exceptionalism to distinctive ideas (King 1973). Some stress its fragmented
system (Steinmo 1994). Others explain its exceptionalism in historical terms
(Kingdon 1999; Lipset 1990). Still others argue against American
exceptionalism (Wilson 1998; Alesina and Rosenthal 1995).
More interestingly, some of the descriptions of Japan as exceptional could
be applied to the Unites States and vice versa. The similarities between
Japanese and American exceptionalism lead us to consider the question: what
is exceptionalism? Referring to the similarity between Japanese and American
exceptionalism, this paper is intended to demonstrate some problems inherent
in the arguments surrounding exceptionalism. Those who study one specific
country intensively tend to see it as “exceptional” without full
consideration of other countries’ circumstances. As this paper will show,
however, what is seemingly exceptional in one country may be found in other
countries. Moreover, some similarities between exceptionalist arguments
about different countries may be derived from different factors that are
peculiar to each country. The main argument in this paper is that the
understanding of a country requires comparative perspectives, not only an
insightful analysis of the country itself.
Specifically, this paper will investigate Japanese and American
exceptionalism. I will attempt to answer two questions. In what ways do both
countries differ from a supposed common tendency of other affluent
democracies and why; and in what ways are both similar to such a tendency
and why? Hence, I will not make a direct comparison between the United
States and Japan. Neither will I discuss the exceptional features which only
one of the two countries has.
Needless to say, an exceptionalist argument about a country assumes certain
common tendencies or norms in other countries and avers that, compared with
such tendencies, the country is very unique. By a supposed international
norm or a supposed common tendency this paper means what is expected to
exist or does exist prevailingly in affluent democracies.
This paper will proceed as follows. The first section will examine the
similarity of Japan and the United States to a supposed common tendency in
affluent countries; as an example of the similarity, the infrequency of
policy reform will be discussed. In the section I will demonstrate that a
seemingly exceptional phenomenon might be not exceptional; if one compares
that country with others, one may find the phenomenon can be explained by
factors common to many countries, and not by features peculiar to only one
country. The second section of this paper will deal with the difference
between the United States and Japan and the supposed international
norm. According to Japanese and American exceptionalism, Japan and the
United States are distinct in the policymaking process. In this paper I will
focus on the diversity within a party and on lobbying targets, which are
seen as peculiar to the two countries. By attending to each of the two
countries closely I will contend that some similarities between the two
exceptionalist arguments may be derived from factors peculiar to each
country. The concluding section will suggest what is crucial for
understanding a country’s politics.
The conventional wisdom on Japanese politics says that it is difficult to
bring out a major policy change in Japan. The process of drafting and
introducing a bill is highly complicated; a bill should go through numerous
formalities before being introduced to the Diet. In this intricate process,
it is said that such various interests are represented that a major policy
change requiring the hard task of resolving conflicts between these
interests is difficult to carry out (e.g., Iwai 1988; Inoguchi and Iwai
1987; Murakawa 1994). Moreover, the close, often cozy, relationships among
interest groups, members of the LDP, and bureaucrats make a major change
unlikely (Murakawa 1994).
The difficulty of a major policy change holds true for the politics of the
United States. As the primary reason for this difficulty, many stress the
political system of fragmented power (e.g., Bond and Fleisher 2000; Keefe
and Ogul 1997; Dodd 1994). The fragmented system in the US offers various
actors numerous veto opportunities in the policymaking process. This system
enhances the possibility to prevent a large change in public policy. A major
change, hence, is considered to necessitate a system of centralized power.
Deregulation is one typical policy arena where a major policy change is
unlikely. In the United States, the collapse of the savings and loans
industry in the 1980s illustrates the difficulty of a large reform (Romer
and Weingast 1991). Japan, likewise, is having much trouble in deregulating
the financial community today.
Is such difficulty in making large policy changes peculiar to Japan and the
United States? Some evidence demonstrates that other countries have had the
same trouble. Here let us look into tax policy. Analyzing the historical
trend of revenue-raising in contemporary western countries, Rose (1985)
avers that these countries are similar in that they are reluctant to engage
in a fundamental tax reform. To put it another way, there is a common
tendency in western countries towards inertia in established tax laws and
administration. A new tax is unlikely to be introduced whereas an existing
tax is unlikely to be repealed. Moreover, the shares of some existing taxes
have increased and those of others not.
Rose (1985) contends that this similarity can be explained by the
uncertainty surrounding tax policy and the risk-averse behavior of
legislators. We can find many arguments claiming that legislators employ
credit-claiming strategies to gain political support. As for tax policy, one
strategy includes large tax cuts. A fundamental change in tax system,
however, does not necessarily lead to an increase in political
support. People are not certain of the effects of tax reform on their
lives. According to experimental findings in psychology, people are more
likely to notice a loss than a gain (Kahneman and Tversky 1984). This
implies that people may feel that tax reform will make them worse
off. Legislators thus regard blame-avoidance strategies, not credit-claiming
ones, as beneficial and rational (Weaver 1986; also see Ashworth and
Heyndels 2000). The existing tax system, consequently, is unlikely to be
The uncertainty surrounding the effects of a large tax policy change and the
resulting blame-avoidance behavior both serve to enhance the political
importance of certain taxes – what are called “buoyant” taxes. Buoyant taxes
tend to generate disproportionately more revenues than can be accounted for
simply by the rate of economic growth and inflation. Buoyancy is considered
to increase government revenues without any positive action by legislators
(Rose, 1985). The most buoyant taxes are progressive income tax, value-added
and sales taxes, and social security. Rose (1985) empirically demonstrates
that a country with any of those taxes increasingly comes to rely on them.
This argument suggests that the conventional wisdom, which says that a large
policy change is difficult to carry out, is applicable not only to Japanese
and US politics but also to other Western countries. Japanese and American
exceptionalism attribute this tendency to peculiar factors within each
country: the complicated policymaking process in Japan and the fragmentation
of power in the United States. From a comparative perspective, however, the
infrequency of a large policy change can be explained by a common factor to
most democracies: namely the blame avoidance behavior of legislators.
The preceding section argued that Japan and the United States are similar to
other democracies in policy outcomes: the difficulty of a large policy
change. Turning to policymaking processes, on the other hand, we find some
differences between these two countries and other affluent democracies. This
section will focus on two differences: the diversity within a party, and
lobbying targets. The argument in this section will reveal also that,
although both countries have common differences from other democracies, the
factors responsible for the differences may not be the same.
within a party
The unity of a political party that is assumed in the responsible party
model is supposed to be found in affluent democracies. A typical example
might be the United Kingdom. British parties have strict party disciplines,
and the members of those parties are required to support their parties’
platforms. Legislators, moreover, are regarded as representatives of the
nation, not just their constituents. German parties also are strongly
organized (Conradt 1996). Both in Japan and the United States, however, such
strong party unity cannot be found.
We find diversity within the LDP in Japan. The LDP consists of several
factions which can be seen almost as formal party agencies (Ishikawa and
Hirose 1989; Muramatsu et al. 1992). The power of the LDP is not
concentrated on the party leader (usually, the prime minister) but shared by
leaders of factions, and meetings of faction leaders are routinely held. The
formation of a cabinet, moreover, is affected by the relative power of each
faction. Such factionalism often prevents the LDP from effective action.
Due to this factionalism, intra-party diversity has been viewed as one
exceptional aspect of Japanese politics. Some attribute this to cultural and
societal customs peculiar to Japan: for instance an emphasis on
master-disciple relations (Thayer 1969; Curtis 1971). This view, however,
cannot offer a good explanation, taking into account the longevity of
factionalism for more than a generation. Moreover, the reasons for the
existence of factionalism only in the LDP are not presented (Kohno
1991). Also we find arguments stressing the influence of the multiple-member
district electoral system. Under this system candidates of the same dominant
party, in this case the LDP, should compete in the same district. This
creates intra-party divisions (Baerwald 1986) and leads the candidates to
represent local interests (Takabatake 1978). Furthermore, Kohno (1991)
explains LDP factionalism in terms of the principal-agent model and shows
that this is rational for both LDP members and voters. Given the change in
the Japanese electoral system, however, such explanations based on the
multiple-member district electoral system need to be re-examined.
In addition to factionalism, the LDP is unique in the existence of zoku
(policy tribes). Members of the LDP seen as zoku are experts on specific
issues due to their experience in committees within the government and the
LDP. They represent the interests relating to a particular issue, rather
than national interests (Iwai 1988). The existence of zoku makes strong
leadership unlikely and leads to a policy that attempts to please all
interests represented by zoku. One notable example is public investment
(Matsuda 1998). After returning to power through non-LDP coalition
governments, the influence of zoku is still significant.
Zoku are seen as a product of the long period of LDP rule (Inoguchi and Iwai
1987). During this period, LDP members acquired technical knowledge and
skills regarding particular issues. Consequently, bureaucrats’ information
monopoly has been steadily broken down. This change can be called the
“politicization of bureaucracy” (Harrop 1992). Various reasons for the long
period of LDP rule have been demonstrated. They include an electoral system
that favors rural areas which support the LDP (Matoba 1990), a quick
response to changes in the political, economic, and social environment (Sato
and Matsuzaki 1986), and success in extending its electoral support base
(Miyake 1989; Yamaguchi 1985), or “creative conservatism” (Pempel 1982).
However such large diversity within the LDP infrequently leads to
cross-voting in the Diet. Conflicts among various interests are usually
ironed out before a bill is introduced to the Diet; the Policy Affairs
Research Council (PARC) of the LDP plays the pivotal role in this task.
The United States
Diversity within a party applies also to the US. US political parties are
characterized by their weak party discipline. Members of parties are more
autonomous and consider themselves as more responsible to their own
constituents than they are to their party leaders. The weak control of a
party over its members is illustrated also in the electoral system. In the
United States, unlike a common tendency in affluent countries, parties make
small contributions to their candidates’ electoral campaigns. Hence,
legislators need to be sensitive to the demands of interest groups that
contribute to their electoral campaigns. This weak party control over
members of Congress sometimes leads to cross-voting. In this sense,
diversity, rather than unity, within a party is found in the US.
Why are US parties so weak? This question has provoked a great deal of
controversy. One primary reason has been thought to be the peculiar
ideologies existent in the United States (Kingdon 1999; Abe 1992). American
people stress individualism and autonomy, and the idea of strong party
discipline runs against such ideologies. These ideologies contribute to the
US system placing an emphasis on a legislator’s individualism and
autonomy. In addition to this ideological explanation, Kingdon (1999)
presents another view. He attaches importance to the Progressive movements.
In this way the adoption of direct primaries and the erosion of patronage as
a serious party-maintaining mechanism led to a decline in the power of
parties over their members.
Today, legislators are still representatives of their constituencies, even
though the degree of party unity voting has increased. This is considered to
result from the homogeneity of constituencies represented by members of a
particular party and from a difference in constituencies’ preferences
between parties (Aldrich and Rohde 2000).
Both Japan and the United States diverge from the supposed common tendency
of affluent democracies. Political Parties in both countries are
characterized by their intra-party diversity. This common exceptionalism,
however, derives from different factors in each country. In Japan, diversity
refers to the existence of both factionalism and zoku in the LDP. Various
reasons for this have been raised, including culture, institutions, and
history. In the United States, on the other hand, intra-party diversity
appears in the form of individualistic legislators, and this can be
explained by pertinent ideologies and historical events.
When party discipline is strict, it would be difficult for interest
groups to succeed in directing a legislator’s attention to their interests
if they are in opposition to his or her party position. Today affluent
democracies, moreover, are seen as administrative states where, compared
with other branches of government, the executive plays a more vital role in
society (Kataoka 1990). The movement from the Nachtwächterstaat
(non-interventionist state) to the welfare state has enhanced the importance
of government activities because policy formulation and implementation
necessitate technical knowledge and bureaucratic skills. Nowadays we so
often see the exercise of discretionary power by bureaucrats and delegated
legislation. These factors imply that today interest groups tend to focus on
administrative agencies in lobbying. This tendency is found in many
countries (Curtis et al. 1993). In the United Kingdom, for instance,
interest groups are more likely to try to influence the government and civil
servants whereas they infrequently lobby members of Parliament (see Abe
1992). In France, traditionally the power of interest groups is relatively
weak due to the Gaullist idea. Recently, however, their power has become
stronger and, especially, the tie between interest groups and administrative
agencies is now much firmer. In Germany, interest groups attach much
importance to access to federal executive agencies, and contact between
interest groups and agencies, moreover, is very direct and formal, partly
due to the German corporatist tradition (Conradt 1996; Loewenberg
1967). Both Japanese and US interest groups, however, attach less importance
to administrative agencies as lobbying targets.
Contrary to what one might suppose, in Japan, administrative agencies are
not important lobbying targets. According to Tsujinaka (1988), parties,
especially the LDP, are crucial targets. The access of interest groups to
parties depends mainly on zoku and group members who are members or
ex-members of the Diet.
The importance of parties as lobbying targets in Japan derives partly from
the Japanese policymaking process. A bill is delivered by both
administrative agencies and the LDP. Above all, deliberations within the
PARC are seen as the most influential on policy outcomes (Murakawa
1994). The PARC is an arena for interactions among bureaucrats and members
of the LDP. It is in the PARC that conflicts among various interests occur
and are resolved. As Inoguchi and Iwai (1987) state, the PARC is a “tractor
of the politicization of bureaucracy.” In this situation interest groups
seek to have close relations with the LDP. We can discover this by attending
to such issues as tax (Matsuda 1996) and budgeting (Campbell 1977).
The United States
Schlozman and Tierney (1986) show that all kinds of groups (business,
industry, labor, and citizen) see Congress, and especially its members, as
more important than other organizations (the White House, administrative
agencies, and the courts). This can be explained by turning to the
aforementioned issue of the individualism of legislators.
As mentioned above, members of Congress rely to a large degree on interest
groups in electoral campaigns. Hence, members should be quite concerned
about the demands of those groups. This high sensitivity to interest groups,
combined with fragmented institutional arrangements, leads to clientism, or
client politics (Keefe and Ogul 1997; Mucciaroni 1990). In client politics a
limited number of specific interests get benefits from decisions Congress
makes whereas the costs are paid by almost everyone. The prevalence of
client politics enhances the degree of importance of Congress and its
members as lobbying targets.
Contrary to the supposition that administrative agencies are increasingly
important lobbying targets today, interest groups in both Japan and the
United States tend to access legislators. The importance of access to
legislators, however, is attributed to different factors in each country. In
Japan, the large role of the LDP and the significant influence of zoku in
the policymaking process lead to a legislator-centered lobbying strategy. In
the United States, the weakness of party, combined with fragmented
institutional arrangements, makes the role of legislators vital.
The politics of Japan is frequently said to be exceptional. US politics
is also often seen as exceptional. Some of the exceptional features of one
country could also apply to the other. An investigation into the
similarities and differences between these two countries and supposed common
tendencies among affluent democracies illuminates two problems in arguments
First, some features seen as exceptional may not be exceptional from a
comparative viewpoint. One may refer to the delay in policymaking in Japan
as a peculiarity to that country. One may also say that the US political
system, with its fragmented power, is unlikely to produce a large policy
change. The first part of this paper, however, reveals that the difficulty
of a large policy change might hold true for all western democracies. This
similarity, moreover, can be explained by focusing on factors common to
those countries and especially the risk-averse behavior of legislators.
Second, even if some countries have common differences from a supposed norm,
those differences may be attributed to different factors. The
peculiarity of each country might matter. The second part of this paper
deals with some exceptional features common to Japan and the United States,
namely the diversity within a party, and the lack of importance of
administrative agencies as lobbying targets. I have demonstrated that the
reasons for these similarities do not seem to be the same.
As the editors comment in the first issue of Leviathan: The Japanese Journal
of Political Science (1987), one tends to see one’s own country as
exceptional (also see Peters 1998). Indeed it may be true that every country
has peculiarities which would make its politics exceptional. The analyses in
this paper, however, suggest that an examination of exceptionalism requires
the arduous task of comparisons. It is imperative to investigate the reasons
for the similarities and the differences between each country (see Tominaga
1988). In research into only one country, “almost every variable has an
equal chance of being a cause; without some comparison (across time or
across cases) there is no means to sort out the causes of the differences”
(Peters 1998: 139). In order to understand a country, hence, it is crucial
to study it from a comparative perspective.
This paper is not intended to contend that research into one specific
country is of no use. Rather I aver that research of this kind, through the
accumulation of evidence, can lead us to detect and re-examine a supposed
international norm. By comparing various insightful one-country studies, we
can categorize countries into some theoretically meaningful groups (Peters
1998). In this sense, thorough research into a country from a comparative
perspective should contribute not only to a better understanding of that
country but also that of the world.
Abe, Hitoshi (1992) Amerika Gendai Seiji (Contemporary
American Politics), 2nd ed. Tokyo: University of Tokyo Press.
Aldrich, John H., and David W. Rohde (2000) “The Consequences of
Party Organization in the House: The Role of the Majority and Minority
Parties in Conditional Party Government.” In Jon R. Bond, and Richard
Fleisher (eds.). Polarized Politics: Congress and the President in a
Partisan Era. Washington, DC: CQ Press.
Alesina, Alberto, and Howard Rosenthal (1995) Partisan Politics,
Divided Government, and the Economy. New York: Cambridge University
Ashworth, John, and Bruno Heyndels (2000) “Politicians’ Opinions on
Tax Reform.” Public Choice 103: 117-138.
Baerwald, Hans H. (1986) Party Politics in Japan. Boston:
Allen and Unwin.
Bond, Jon R., and Richard Fleisher (2000) Polarized Politics:
Congress and the President in a Partisan Era. Washington, DC: CQ Press.
Campbell, John C. 1977. Contemporary Japanese Budget Politics,
Berkeley: University of California Press.
Conradt, David P. (1996) The German Polity, 6th ed. White
Plains, New York: Longman.
Curtis, Gerald L. (1971) Election Campaigning Japanese Style.
New York: Columbia University Press.
Curtis, Michael, Jean Blondel, Bernard E. Brown, Donald P. Kommers,
Theodore McNelly, Martin C. Needler, John S. Reshetar, James D. Seymour, and
Stephen Wright (1993) Introduction to Comparative Politics, 3rd
ed. New York: Harper Collins.
Dodd, Lawrence C. (1994) “Political Learning and Political Change:
Understanding Development across Time.” In Lawrence C. Dodd, and Calvin
Jillson (eds). The Dynamics of American Politics: Approaches and
Interpretations. Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press.
Harrop, Martin (1992) Power and Policy in Liberal Democracies. Cambridge:
Cambridge University Press.
Inoguchi, Takashi, and Tomoaki Iwai (1987) “Zoku-Giin” no Kenkyu:
Jiminto Seiken wo Gyujiru Shuyakutachi (Study of “Zoku” Members of the
Diet: The Leading Figures of Controlling the LDP Government). Tokyo: Nihon Keizai Shimbunsha.
Ishikawa, Masumi, and Michisada Hirose (1989) Jiminto: Choki Shihai no Kozo
(The Liberal Democratic Party: The Structure of its Long-Term
Dominance). Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten.
Iwai, Tomoaki (1988) Rippo Katei (Legislative Process). Tokyo: University
of Tokyo Press.
Kahneman, Daniel, and Amos Tversky (1984) “Choices, Values, and
Frames.” American Psychologist 39(4): 341-350.
Kataoka, Hiromitsu (1990) Kokumin to Gyosei (People and Public
Administration). Tokyo: Waseda University Press.
Keefe, William J., and Morris S. Ogul (1997) The American Legislative
Process: Congress and the States, 9th ed. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey:
King, Anthony (1973) “Ideas, Institutions, and the Policies of Government:
A Comparative Analysis.” British Journal of Political Science, 3: 291-313,
Kingdon, John W. (1999) America the Unusual. New York: St. Martin’s/Worth.
Kohno, Masaru (1991) “The LDP as Seen from Organization
Theories.” Leviathan: The Japanese Journal of Political Science, 9: 23-54.
Lipset, Seymour Martin (1990) Continental Divide: The Values and
Institutions of the United States and Canada. New York: Routledge.
Loewenberg, Gerhard (1967) Parliament in the German Political
System. Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press.
Matoba, Toshihiro (1990) Sengo no Seito Shisutemu: Jizoku to Henka (Postwar
Party System: Continuance and Change). Tokyo: Yuhikaku.
Matsuda, Noritada (1996) Seisaku Kettei niokeru Shinriteki Eikyo:
Shohizei-Hoan Sakusei Katei wo Tsujite (Psychological Influence in
Policymaking: Study of the Process of Making the Consumption Tax Bill). MA
Dissertation (Submitted to Waseda University, Tokyo, Japan).
Matsuda, Noritada (1998) “The Administrative Reform for the Fiscal Reform:
Towards Improving the Public Investment and the Tax System.” Waseda Study of
Politics and Public Law, 57: 179-207.
Miyake, Ichiro (1989) Tohyo Kodo (Voting Behavior). Tokyo: University of
Mucciaroni, Gary (1990) “Public Choice and the Politics of Comprehensive
Tax Reform.” Governance: An International Journal of Policy and
Administration, 3(1): 1-32.
Murakawa, Ichiro (1994) Nihonkoku ‘Seifu’ no Kenkyu: Gendai Seiji niokeru
Seito no Chii (Study of Japan’s ‘Government’: Positions of Political Parties
in the Contemporary Politics). Tokyo: Gyosei.
Muramatsu, Michio, Mitsutoshi Ito, and Yutaka Tsujinaka (1992) Nihon no
Seiji (The Politics of Japan). Tokyo: Yuhikaku.
Nakane, Chie (1967) Tate-Shakai no Ningen Kankei: Tanitsu Shakai no Riron
(Human Relations in the Vertical Society: Theory of a Unitary
Society). Tokyo: Kodansha.
Pempel, T. J. (1982) Policy and Politics in Japan-Creative
Conservatism. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.
Peters, B. Guy (1998) Comparative Politics: Theory and Methods. New York: New York University Press.
Romer, Thomas, and Barry R. Weingast (1991) “Political Foundations of the
Thrift Debacle.” In Alberto Alesina, and Geoffrey Carliner (eds.). Politics
and Economics in the Eighties. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Rose, Richard (1985) “Maximizing Tax Revenue While Minimizing Political
Costs.” Journal of Public Policy, 5(3): 289-320.
Sato, Seizaburo, and Tetsuhisa Matsuzaki (1986) Jiminto Seiken (The Liberal
Democratic Party Administration). Tokyo: Chuo Koronsha.
Schlozman, Kay Lehman, and John T. Tierney (1986) Organized Interests and
American Democracy. New York: Harper and Row.
Steinmo, Sven H. (1994) “American Exceptionalism Reconsidered: Culture or
Institutions?” In Lawrence C. Dodd, and Calvin Jillson (eds.). The Dynamics
of American Politics: Approaches and Interpretations. Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press.
Takabatake, Michitoshi (1978) Gendai Nihon no Seiji 72-77 (Modern Japanese
Politics 72-77). Tokyo: Sanichi Shobo.
Thayer, Nathaniel B. (1969) How the Conservatives Rule Japan. Princeton, New
Jersey: Princeton University Press.
Tominaga, Kenichi (1988) Nihon Sangyo Shakai no Tenki
(The Turning Point of
Japanese Industrial Society). Tokyo: University of Tokyo Press.
Tsujinaka, Yutaka (1988) Rieki Shudan (Interest Groups). Tokyo: University
of Tokyo Press.
Yamaguchi, Yasushi (1985) “Sengo Nihon no Seiji Taisei to Seiji Katei
(Political System and Process in Postwar Japan).” In Ichiro Miyake, Yasushi
Yamaguchi, Michio Muramatsu, and Eiichi Shindo (eds.). Nihon Seiji no Zahyo:
Sengo Shijunen no Ayumi (A Framework for Japanese Politics: Steps of Postwar
40-Year Period). Tokyo: Yuhikaku.
Weaver, R. Kent (1986) “The Politics of Blame Avoidance.” Journal of Public
Policy, 6(4): 371-398.
Wilson, Graham K. (1998) Only in America? The Politics of the United States
in Comparative Perspective. Chatham, New Jersey: Chatham House Publishers.
About the author
Noritada Matsuda received his BA and MA in political
science from Waseda University (Tokyo, Japan) in 1994 and 1996,
respectively. Currently he is a PhD candidate in political science at the
University of Pittsburgh (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA) and
Waseda University. His PhD dissertation compares 1980s tax reforms in the United States and Japan and analyzes critical
factors responsible for the successful passage of both reforms. One of his
publications is a contribution to Kuni-Betsu Gyosei Kaikaku Jijo
(Country-by-Country Situations of Public Administration Reform) (edited by
Back to Top
This page was first created on 13 August 2003. It was last modified on
30 January 2006.
This website is best viewed with
a screen resolution of 1024x768 pixels and using Microsoft
Internet Explorer or Mozilla
No modifications have been made to the main text of this page
since it was first posted on ejcjs.
If you have any suggestions for improving or adding to this page
or this site then please e-mail your suggestions to the editor.
If you have any difficulties with this website then please send
an e-mail to the