Thursday, November 21, 2019
Japanese Politics and Culture Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 2000 words
Japanese Politics and Culture - Essay Example Electoral System The Koenkai formed during the post war period and can be described as a personal support group for political candidates and those in office. They are formed by the candidates themselves and not the particular party and involve personal acquaintances of every nature and are maintained through the use of personal gestures such as cards and visits which can become expensive for the candidate. It is this expense that led to the creation of what are known as factions. Many actually inherit their koenkai and in 2011 72% of the hereditary candidates were elected to office with the benefit of their koenkai (Neary, p72). The koenkai formation represented an innovative and unique resolution in campaign strategy rather than relying on local politicians and community leaders. Politicians formed the koenkai in response to an inability of aforementioned politicians and leaders to gather enough votes to allow them to win the election. Local politicians are usually made officers of a candidates koenkai, local assemblymen serve as chapter presidents and these koenkai can easily include thousands of members with an example being Nakasone, whose koenkai numbers 50,000 (Curtis, p130). Local politicians give the koenkai a feel of democracy in a mass membership organization and when given titles such as federation chief it becomes more difficult for them to switch their loyalty to another candidate. Their primary function is no longer to gather votes but to add prestige to the koenkai. These koenkai will consist of many groups, including women and youth and other special interest populations. The idea is maintained that it is the will of the people who allow the official to become elected and helps to ensure equal distribution of wealth and income which Japan has... In 2007 political scandal resulted in the suicide of Matsuoka Toshikatsu, JapanÃ¢â¬â¢s Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. Though this is a rare occurrence corruption is a constant and prevailing factor in Japanese politics. As a member of the prior ruling liberal democratic party he was extremely influential and involved in bureaucrat led-bid-rigging and political donations from public works contractors to Diet members, allowing opportunity for political expenditures to be hidden used for activities such as vote buying. Shortly before his appointment to be questioned by the House of CounselorsÃ¢â¬â¢ Budget Committee regarding the misappropriation of political funds Toshikatsu took his own life, followed the next day by associate Yamazaki Shinichi, directly connected to the bid-rigging scandal. Through multiple studies and suggestions there are many possibilities for the long running success of the LDP. Clientelism, the prior electoral system of SNTV/MMD, factions and koenkai, and the preference of the Japanese people to remain within groups may be all strong contributing factors. The Clientelism obviously has led to corruption and essentially makes it much easier to conduct bid-rigging and vote buying as suggested, which led to the suicide of Toshikatsu two years before the LDP lost political power. With the DJP in place it is too soon to know what successes they will create within the government or if they will be able to maintain their power. Naoto Kan, previous Prime Minister, was the sixth Prime Minister in a five year period to be replaced, after his mishandling of the Tsunami disaster that occurred in 2011 and the disaster occurring with the Fukushima nuclear power plant.