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Koizumi and Japanese Politics: Reform Strategies and Leadership Style (review)

Koizumi and Japanese Politics: Reform Strategies and Leadership Style (review) on page 9 that their Japan's Political Marketplace is "easily the most influential book on Japanese politics in the past quarter century" seems peculiarly North American. Finally, it seems hard to understand why the authors are so dismissive of cultural explanations. They appear to accept an essentialist version of "culture," following Nakane Chie and popular Nihonjinron-type writings. But realistically, culture changes over time; it represents the ways in which people in a given space and timeframe see the world, and what their assumptions about it are. These are affected by many issues, including the kinds of institutional factors analyzed in this book. But to take a particular example, a society with a culture of pervasive corruption (of which there are many) will behave differently from a society lacking such a culture, so that identical legislation will have quite different effects in the short to medium term (and perhaps the long term) in the two societies. The rigid exclusion of cultural explanations from this book deprives it of a dimension that could have enriched its argument. But this observation touches on a massive area of dispute. Anyone interested in Japan and/or in party politics should read this book. The http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Journal of Japanese Studies Society for Japanese Studies

Koizumi and Japanese Politics: Reform Strategies and Leadership Style (review)

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Publisher
Society for Japanese Studies
Copyright
Copyright © Society for Japanese Studies.
ISSN
1549-4721
Publisher site
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Abstract

on page 9 that their Japan's Political Marketplace is "easily the most influential book on Japanese politics in the past quarter century" seems peculiarly North American. Finally, it seems hard to understand why the authors are so dismissive of cultural explanations. They appear to accept an essentialist version of "culture," following Nakane Chie and popular Nihonjinron-type writings. But realistically, culture changes over time; it represents the ways in which people in a given space and timeframe see the world, and what their assumptions about it are. These are affected by many issues, including the kinds of institutional factors analyzed in this book. But to take a particular example, a society with a culture of pervasive corruption (of which there are many) will behave differently from a society lacking such a culture, so that identical legislation will have quite different effects in the short to medium term (and perhaps the long term) in the two societies. The rigid exclusion of cultural explanations from this book deprives it of a dimension that could have enriched its argument. But this observation touches on a massive area of dispute. Anyone interested in Japan and/or in party politics should read this book. The

Journal

The Journal of Japanese StudiesSociety for Japanese Studies

Published: Feb 1, 2012

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