Collected Writings of J.A.A. Stockwin: The Politics and Political Environment of Japan

By J. A. A. Stockwin | Go to book overview
Save to active project

First published in Anne Holzhausen (ed.), Studies on Japan's Changing Political Economy and the Process of Globalization in Honour of Sung-Jo Park, Heidelberg and New York: Physica Verlag, 2001


5

Japan's General Elections of June 2000: Revolution or Ripple?

INTRODUCTION

A LEADING British newspaper recently commented on the Mexican presidential elections that ended the dominance of the PRI-a political party that had ruled Mexico continuously since the era of silent films:

Corruption feeds on political monopoly, but then eats away at governments' legitimacy, (…). Corruption led in 1993 to a momentary defeat of Japan's Liberal Democratic Party; it was a factor in the downfall of India's Congress Party in 1996; and it is a source of something close to outrage in China. (…)The one-party state was one of the salient features of the 20th century; the 21st should, with luck, see its disappearance. (Financial Times, 4th July 2000)

Perhaps the greatest puzzle about the politics of Japan is continuity of rule by a single political party over four and a half decades, in a political system where free elections are institutionalized. The Liberal Democratic Party (LDP)-a party of broadly conservative persuasion-was founded in November 1955, and has formed every national government since then, except for the period between August 1993 and June 1994, when it was out of office. This is not as long as the PRI in Mexico, but still, an exceptionally long period. It ruled on its own, as a single-party administration, for all of the period between 1955 and 1993, except that, between 1983 and 1986, it was in coalition with a tiny splinter group called the New Liberal Club. The NLC had defected from the LDP in 1976 following the Lockheed aircraft purchase scandal, and in 1986 returned to the LDP fold. In any case, the LDP/NLC coalition was not strictly speaking necessary for the LDP to preserve its grip on government.

Other indicators of its phenomenal success are that the LDP held an absolute majority in the House of Representatives between 1955 and July 1993, and again between September 1997 and June 2000. Even in those periods where it lacked a Lower House majority, it was overwhelmingly the largest party in terms of its representation in the House of Representatives.

-71-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Collected Writings of J.A.A. Stockwin: The Politics and Political Environment of Japan
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 551

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?