Review Section Changing Politics in Japan. By Ikuo Kabashima and Gill Steel. Cornell University Press, Ithaca, 2010. xiv, 186 pages. $57.95, cloth; $19.95, paper. Reviewed by Koji Murata Doshisha University Japanese politics has been in transition since the end of the twentieth century, a transition that may be further facilitated by the aftermath of the Great East Japan Earthquake of March 11, 2011. Changing Politics in Japan by Ikuo Kabashima and Gill Steel tries to explain the transition with various viewpoints and provides a well-balanced perspective. The study is concise and well documented with many statistics and other sources. The authors "set out to demolish further the once prevalent myth that Japanese politics are a stagnant set of entrenched systems and interests that are fundamentally undemocratic" (p. 1). They pay special attention to changes in representation and accountability. Kabashima is an authority on studies of Japanese electoral politics, and Steel specializes in political and social psychology, including voting behavior. Thus, the authors shed light on systemic and sociopsychological changes in Japanese politics. Prime Minister Koizumi Jun'ichiro is an icon of these changes. ¯ Let me briefly review the content of this study. Postwar Japanese politics is often divided
The Journal of Japanese Studies – Society for Japanese Studies
Published: Jul 14, 2012
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