The Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) came to power in 2009 with a commanding majority, ending fifty years of almost uninterrupted Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) rule. Then, in 2012, just over three years later, the DPJ lost power in an equally stunning landslide loss to the LDP. This volume examines the DPJ’s remarkable ascendance, its policies once in power, and its dramatic fall.
What explains the DPJ’s rapid rise to power? Why was policy change under the DPJ limited, despite high expectations and promises of bold reform? Why has the party been paralyzed by internecine conflict?
Chapters in the volume cover: DPJ candidate recruitment; the influence of media coverage; nationalization of elections; electoral system constraints on policy change; the role of third parties; municipal mergers; the role of women; transportation policy; fiscal decentralization; information technology; response to the Fukushima nuclear disaster; security strategy; and foreign policy. Japan under the DPJ makes important contributions to the study of Japanese politics, while drawing upon and advancing scholarship on a wider range of issues of interest to political scientists.
Kenji E. Kushida is a senior fellow for Japan studies in Carnegie’s Asia Program, directing research on Japan, including a new Japan-Silicon Valley Innovation Initiative at Carnegie. He was formerly a research scholar with the Japan Program at the Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center at Stanford University.
Phillip Y. Lipscy is assistant professor of political science at Stanford University and Thomas Rohlen Center Fellow at the Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center. His research focuses on international and comparative political economy with an emphasis on East Asia, particularly Japan.