Local Power in the Japanese State

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University of California Press, Jan 1, 1997 - Political Science - 182 pages
00 In 1993, wave after wave of scandals led to the collapse of the one-party system in Japan. Since then, reformers have focused more and more on redistributing power from the highly centralized national government to regional and municipal administrations, just as the United States and other countries around the world move toward increased local autonomy, block grants, and decentralization. But are local entities ready for the new responsibilities? Muramatsu Michio demonstrates that throughout the postwar era, Japanese local governments have exercised far more power than previously understood. He synthesizes theories of central-local relations in Japan and around the world, comparing U.S., British, and French models to his own data on prefectural and municipal governments in Japan. Focusing on housing subsidies, land use regulation, and the development of the welfare state, Muramatsu offers a fascinating reinterpretation of the meaning of local autonomy in a contemporary context. In 1993, wave after wave of scandals led to the collapse of the one-party system in Japan. Since then, reformers have focused more and more on redistributing power from the highly centralized national government to regional and municipal administrations, just as the United States and other countries around the world move toward increased local autonomy, block grants, and decentralization. But are local entities ready for the new responsibilities? Muramatsu Michio demonstrates that throughout the postwar era, Japanese local governments have exercised far more power than previously understood. He synthesizes theories of central-local relations in Japan and around the world, comparing U.S., British, and French models to his own data on prefectural and municipal governments in Japan. Focusing on housing subsidies, land use regulation, and the development of the welfare state, Muramatsu offers a fascinating reinterpretation of the meaning of local autonomy in a contemporary context.
 

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Contents

Old and New Theories
27
The Implementation
87
5
112
A Reexamination of the Concept of Local Government
124
TOWARD A LARGER FRAMEWORK
160
INDEX
175
Copyright

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About the author (1997)

Muramatsu Michio is Dean and Professor at the Faculty of Law, Kyoto University. His publications in Japanese include Nihon no gyosei: Katsudogata kanryosei no henbo (Japanese public administration: Transformation of a pro-active bureaucracy), 1994.

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