Political Economy of Japan

The victory of the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) can indeed be regarded as a new era in Japanese politics because this will paved the way for transformational changes to take place in the politics of the country. The political problem that is experienced by Japan in the past years can be attributed to the ineffective leadership of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) because the concept of clientelist politics that they implemented during their dominance in Japanese politics is yielding more harm than good for the Japanese people. The changes that took place in the early 1990s up to the present have proven that clientelist politics is no longer effective nor sustainable in the political environment of Japan (Kollner 243). Being the case, the victory of the Democratic Party of Japan will change the clientelist politics of the Liberal Democratic Party, which is no longer applicable to the current political situation of the country.

Arguments Against
In the course of years, Japanese had been able to open its gates to different authors in order to study the case of the Japan. In an article provided by Kollner, it stated that the Japanese politics is mainly handled by the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP). Within those years, the executive branch and the parliament branch of the government. Hence, with such the course of the politics in Japan had been mainly based on LDP which is mostly based on its perspectives and advocacies.

Basing on the question posted it is clear that the aspect of politics in Japan is not stated as cause of the downfall of the politics in the country. Hence, it is argued that upon the perspective of Kollner it is discussed that LDP is not the cause of Japans political ills for the reason that issues within the countrys politics is not due to the political group hence it is due to the traditional way of politics which had been established by LDP it is very clear that the perspective of the party had remained strong. The evidence of such is the very stable support of the People towards the political party.

In a much broader perspective, it should be noted that Japan is a very culture oriented nation which seeks to apply their norm into the political context.  Due to the success of Japan many of its people had remained contented with the LDP where in the whole nation stayed and supported the political group. Hence, the problem truly lies on the aspect of the narrowly focused particular politics which is highly important for the decisions and the priorities of the country do not entirely lie with the people but also with the political parties which are active in the parliament.  Therefore, one of the causes of the issue at hand is the wide range of politicians who are still practicing the classic or traditional way of politics which is currently ineffective due to the many changes which had occurred.

In addition to this, the Democratic Party of Japan had highly played with the aspect of money scandals. Thus, different individuals within their parties are more often involved with issues regarding funding. Hence, the party is also questioned with their weakness in terms of their leadership.  Most of its leaders are not often into the course of making progress for the whole country which leads to a very difficult control with its various members and decision making.

In the recent news in the politics of Japan it is mentioned that the DPJ is currently in a difficult situation due to the fact that one of its leaders were demanded to step down his position.  In the news article it states that Japans Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Seiji Maehara indicated on Tuesday that the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) Secretary-General Ichiro Ozawa should contemplate stepping down in light of his funds scandal embroilment causing public support for Japans ruling Cabinet to plunge recently (Xiang, n.p.).  Thus, through one negative action of the individual the course of politics and leadership of the DPJ is immediately questioned by the people. Looking into the culture of Japan it is very understandable that morality is one of the most important values in terms of governance. The Japanese nations lead to a higher tendency to excruciate different individuals who had caused immoral actions against the government or the people. In such news clip it is very clear that DPJ has a wobbly type of leadership which causes different kinds of scandals that creates a downfall in the political dimension of Japan.

Furthermore, voters are also not that supportive of the DPJ because most people believe that the staying power of the country is very questionable. In relation to this, the ability of the DPJ to make substantially changes in Japan is also questioned. The lack of voters support and also the controversy that some of members of DPJ are going through already cast a huge doubt on whether DPJ will create a new era in Japan.

The arguments that do not favor the perspective that the victory of the Democratic Party of Japan exemplifies a new era in Japanese politics have its respective reasons and supporting details. However, the arguments are rather weak and inconclusive because it does not properly analyze the role of LDP as one of the major causes in the political problems of Japan. The arguments presented that do not favor the importance of DPJ in transforming the political situation of Japan can be countered point by point.
First, despite the fact that there are other factors that might cause the political problems of Japan, the LDP played a pivotal role in the problematic situation of the countrys political system. According to Robert Dahl (2004 377), dominant parties are very important in the political system because these parties have a high degree of power and influence. In addition, the way they used their power and influence has a huge effect to the citizens of the country. As a result, the way LDP governed the country during its time of dominance did not yield substantial benefits because of the inefficiency of their clientlist politics. LDP was able to maintain its supporters in the past through clientelism wherein it is based on a grand coalition. LDP established connection with different interest group wherein their support for the party means that they can influence the formulation and implementation of policies as well as gain reward for being part of the grand coalition (Scheiner 65-66). This has not been effective for Japan, especially in terms of exercising democracy. LDP was able to get the support of different interest groups because of the benefit that they can get, to the extent that even those groups which oppose LDP decided to join the grand coalition for them not to be marginalized. In this sense, there is an absence of a strong opposition in Japanese politics which is essential in a democratic country because it provides the sense of check and balance. Due to this, the LDP has the authority to implement its policies in the country without any opposition. The dominant authority of the LDP is also the caused for the increase in morality and ethical issues against the party, especially when it comes to graft and corruption. 

Second, the assertion that all Japanese politicians have narrow, particularistic politics is a fallacy, as it tends to generalize that all politicians in the country are guilty of such. Not all Japanese in the government practiced particularistic politics and this is proven by the decisions and actions of the DPJ. The DPJ has substantially given due attention and importance to the interests of various minority parties and groups in Japan, especially those who are unaffiliated with any interest group (Kollner 249).  The efforts of the DPJ to represent the minority groups and unaffiliated citizens of the country only shows its pluralistic politics approach in terms of the governance style of the party.

Third, political scandals are usual issues that are face by almost any politicians and DPJ has also experienced it. Allegations about graft and corruption as well as other similar unethical practices are already part of politics, especially since there are instances wherein bad publicity and propaganda are used (Hayes 105). In the case of the DPJ, there are no conclusive results that will really intricate the party in this kind of accusations. In addition, if ever there is an instance wherein one member of the DPJ will be proven of unethical practices, it should not reflect the integrity of the whole party as the mistake of one individual is not synonymous to the group. Moreover, it is premature to say that DPJ is weak and lacks inspiring leadership because their victory as the dominant party in Japan is not yet long enough to clearly show the changes that they can make.

Fourth, voters are supportive of DPJ and this is proven by the very victory of the party. DPJ has been founded in 1996 and it has already absorbed numerous small parties in 1998. As a result, it developed into a serious contender for power of the LDP (Kollner 250). The popularity of DPJ among the public can be rooted from the different kind of governance style that it offers as compared with the dominant party. The Japanese voters decision to make DPJ the majority seat holder in the government only shows their desire to change the traditional political approach of the previous dominant party. Being the case, it also symbolizes the dissatisfaction of the people when it comes to the leadership of LDP. The humble beginning of DPJ as compared with the already established and powerful LDP is already a clear distinction of the two parties. However, DPJ was able to become victorious against the LDP because of the support of the people, especially their desire to change the way by which the political realm of Japan is being handled by its officials. 

Lastly, the victory of the DPJ is a turning point in Japanese politics because the changes that are happening in the country since the 1990s already exemplified the turning point in the political situation of Japan. In the 1990s, Japan is already undergoing a series of changes, especially when it comes to the political an economic situation of the country. The economic crisis that Japan went through have substantially affected the LDP. The grand coalition of LDP started to deteriorate because the party already have limited resources to the give the corresponding rewards to the members of the coalition. As a result, the clientelist style of governance of LDP becomes inapplicable. In relation to this, the trade liberalization and subsidies that were given by Prime Minister Koizumi also greatly lessen the influence of clientelism in Japan (Kollner 251). The victory of DPJ introduces a new form of governance in Japan, especially since the party has different advocacies and leadership strategies as compared with LDP, which will further heighten and even assure the changes in Japanese politics.

Arguments for Agree
The Japanese people had felt that change must come in their nation due to the deep economic crisis which they are experiencing. Thus, the demonstrations which are held are due to their dire need and support for economic deregulation.
In the recent years, the leadship of Koizumi paved the way to the radical changes of the Japanese economy and politics.

Through the leadership of Koizumi he had gained support from different people in Japan that liberalization must be upheld in order for the success of the nation to be attained.

The leadership of Koizumi was not like any other. He had maintained his vision and leadership strong and influenced the whole nation of the reforms which is very much needed in the government which will also leader to higher economic gain.

It is correct that change and reform in Japan is currently inevitable.
Koizumi had implanted a strong influence with the Japanese nation and attained the support which had been long gone due to the non-inspirational leadership of other Prime Minister.

The people are already looking forward to attaining economic gain and expect that the activities which had been formerly done by Koizumi to be sustained towards its goals.

Currently, the shift of reform is already happening however the traditionalists are still resisting the modernization of politics in Japan.

Counter Arguments
Politics in Japan is still leaning towards the traditionalist governance due to the high regard of its nation to culture and norms.

The change which had been implemented by Koizumi is not entirely realistic and very modern for the society and political realm of Japan.

The economic growth of Japan is not yet ready for liberalization and would not be able to adapt to the changes presented by Koizumi.

As a country filled with unique aspects of culture, norms and political perspectives it is important to note that liberalization and active participation of different international entities would not create a much harmonious relations with Japan and its society. Hence, it is assumed that conflicts of national and economic interests would be present.

Liberalization could not be adopted by Japan as a whole due to the lack of openness with the society. Provided that Japan was able to stand mostly on its own, liberalization would create shock. In return Japan shall not create progress as it once was.

Through liberalization the question of availability of various resources are in question. Japan is a state which could provide resources. However, the stability of such resource is in question.

Japan is a state which had highly relied on its self during the past. The pride of the Japanese people of their culture and attainments are restriction to creating a much opened government and economy which would be must vulnerable to the actions and activities of the world.


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