Advice and Consent: The Politics of Consultation in Japan

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Cambridge University Press, Mar 5, 2001 - Political Science - 327 pages
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Japan's political system has been transformed gradually by a pluralizing trend since the postwar era. That is not to say, however, that many diverse, fluctuating groups now compete equally in Japan's political marketplace. Instead, small sets of well-organized, narrowly focused interest groups typically join specific bureaucratic agencies, groups of politicians, and individual experts to dominate policymaking in relatively self-contained issue areas. Advice and Consent offers a rare, penetrating examination of the critical role of interest-group politics in Japan. Frank Schwartz reviews the functions and operations of Japan's council system, and presents three case studies of specific governmental decisions involving the use of shingikai in the late 1980s. He explores how political conflicts of interest among economic groups in Japan are resolved with the help of consultative councils, makes broader observations about the political economies of Japan, and by extension, other advanced industrial economies.
 

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Contents

Interestgroup politics in Japan Competing interpretations
3
The shingikai system
48
Shingikai in the spotlight
94
Amending Japans labor constitution Revision of the Labor Standards Act
116
Regulating the invisible giant The introduction of financial futures markets
164
The god that fell Reducing the price of rice
213
Comparisons and conclusions
263
Bibliography
289
Index
312
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