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The State and Politics in Japan

ISBN: 978-0-7456-2134-0
264 pages
September 2002, Polity
The State and Politics in Japan (0745621341) cover image
This book provides a comprehensive guide to the state and politics in Japan at the start of the twenty-first century. In it, Ian Neary asks if the state in Japan is in any important sense different from states in western societies. He seeks to answer this question through an examination of the historical process that created the modern state, a description of the main institutions and actors in contemporary political life and an analysis of four important areas of policy-making.

In Japan, as elsewhere in East Asia where the 'developmental state' has played a key political and economic role, civil society has been the product of, not the precondition to, the development of capitalist society and the modern state. Neary explores the formation of the modern Japanese state and shows that, though it established the foundations of industrial growth, it left little or no room for the formation of groups that make up civil society elsewhere. The book then focuses on the political parties of both left and right, characteristics of the electoral systems and the political and bureaucratic structures at national and local levels. Individual chapters on foreign and defence policy, industrial policy, welfare provision and human rights consider the interaction between state and non-state actors in specific policy contexts.

Assuming no prior knowledge of Japan or politics, this textbook will be essential reading for students of political science and international relations as well as anyone seeking an introduction to government in Japan today.
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Acknowledments.

Glossary of Abbreviations and Japanese Terms.

List of Names.

Map 1: East Asia.

Map 2: Japan.

Introduction.

Part I History.

1 Restoration and Reform in Meiji Japan.

2 Political History 1905-1945.

3 Post-war Recreation of the Japanese State - occupation and aftermath.

Part II Parties.

4 Conservatives and Their Allies.

5 Socialists and Their Allies.

6 Party Politics 1992-2000 - towards a new system.

Part III Structures.

7 Bureaucratic Structures and Their Reform.

8 Parliament.

9 Local Government.

Part IV Policies.

10 Foreign and Defence Policy.

11 Industrial Policy.

12 Social Welfare Policies.

13 Human Rights in Japan.

Conclusion.

References.

Index
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Ian Neary is Professor in the Department of Government at Essex University. He is the author of Intervention and Technological Innovation and Political Protest and Social Control in Pre-war Japan.
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  • An outstanding introductory textbook on Japanese politics by a leading scholar in the field

  • Provides a comprehensive guide to politics in Japan at the start of the twenty-first century, during a period of substantial reform

  • Examines the formation of the modern Japanese State, its key institutions at national and local levels and the role of non-state actors in specific policy areas

  • Explores the process of policy development in five key areas – industrial policy, environment protection, human rights, welfare provision, foreign and defence policy

  • Developed over twenty-years of teaching courses in Japanese politics and assumes no prior knowledge of this field
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"Neary has done an admirable job of bringing together recent and past scholarship on Japanese state-society relations and reforms to make a cohesive argument about the state of Japanese politics, economy and society today. I highly recommend this book ... Neary provides us with a much-needed text for courses on Japanese politics and comparative politics." Journal of Asian Studies

"This is a well-written and useful book that brings readers up to date with the quickly evolving Japanest political process." International Relations Theory

"This book can serve as a guide for anyone interested in understanding Japan's political history, basic structure and policies" Asian Affairs

"Overall, Neary's book is a solid and accessible updating of politics in japan. It has assembled a great deal of useful detail and some particularly helpful tables and charts. Its attention to the historical background and four case studies of policy making are its strengths ... it can be recommended for introductory and undergraduated courses on Japanese politics" Australian Journal of Political Science

"A comprehensive guide to the state and politics in Japan at the beginning of the 21st century." International Review of Administrative Sciences

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