IJS Week 04

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Week 4: The State – parliament, bureaucracy, local authorities

Statistical Handbook of Japan:

Read Chapter 17, “Government System”. As additional reading, make sure to read the Constitution of Japan.


Here is a 20-minute video lecture (+ transcript) by Phillip Lipscy of Stanford University discussing various aspects of the Japanese system.

Video Tour of the Diet Building (English above, Japanese below)

A good explanation of the relative benefits of first past the post and proportional representation as seen in British Columbia (Canada).

A BBC report about Mayor Kishimoto Satoko (Suginami Ward) and the broader issue of female under-representation in Japanese politics.

Academic Articles (for the Active Learning Hours Portfolio):

David McNeill, “The Abe Legacy: A Compendium”

Koichi Nakano, “Contemporary Political Dynamics of Japanese Nationalism”

Purnendra Jain and Daisuke Akimoto, “Hereditary politicians remain dominant in Japan”

Emma Dalton, A feminist critical discourse analysis of sexual harassment in the Japanese political and media worlds”

Emma Dalton, “Japanese politics still a man’s world”

Emma Dalton, “Japan’s stubborn gender inequality problem”

Anthony Rausch, “Post Heisei Merger Japan”.


The Government of Japan homepage

House of Representatives homepage

House of Councillors homepage

Prime Minister of Japan homepage

Ministry of the Environment, “Environmental Policy”

CLAIR, “Municipal Mergers in Japan”.

Finally, one of the most prominent political scientists in Japan is Nakano Koichi. He has launched a YouTube channel called Progressive! Channel. As the name suggests, it is not “neutral” (then again, who is “neutral”?!). However, Nakano is very widely published in both English and Japanese, and he comments regularly in English-language media (such as The New York Times). Here is a sample: