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The basic assumption of humanitalizm as an underlying philosophy of Japanese management is that the skills and experience of its employees constitute the main assets of the company as opposed to capitalism, in which the capital is the most important asset. Firstly, this philosophy is relatively universal and has high potential for global application. Japanese companies began their foreign expansion not in search of human resources, but to avoid trade barriers and defuse tensions arising in aging organizations.

The aging population and the pressures of global competition in recent years, however, has put pressure on Japanese companies to extend their underlying philosophy to the entire global workforce. It contains three mutually complementary business strategies, namely development of community, the internal labor market and human resources development. This strategy supports the building of a community on the one hand, and justifies the development of human resources on the other. Human resource development, consists of training, socialization, job rotation and substantial investments, returns on which can be expected only in the long term.

The level of organizational practices is the third and final level of Japanese management, which very often is erroneously understood as its essence. In addition, the level of practices should be described as vaguely and neutrally as possible, in order to accommodate the different varieties of practice used by Japanese companies all over world. The key issue is to what extent they are the result of conscious implementation of the philosophy and strategy of Japanese management.

In our opinion, the essence of Japanese management is the qualities of integrity and coherence repeatedly emphasized in the literature. Japanese Management: 50 Years of Evolution of the Concept 41 perception of Japanese management as an ideal concept, which cannot be achieved in reality. This means that we cannot talk about Japanese management if there is any dissonance between any of these elements, and because such a situation is not really possible, Japanese management will always remain in the realms of the ideal. The new definition of Japanese management Based on three key aspects of Japanese management identified as a result of literature review and described in previous paragraphs, we would like to put forward a new more dynamic and flexible definition of Japanese management: Japanese management is a process of realizing the philosophy of people as the most important organizational resource through the strategies of community building, the internal labor market and Human Resource Development; and the creation of corresponding practices that maximize the input of the human factor in the production process.

The proposed definition includes the assumption of an evolutionary and dynamic character of Japanese management, distinguishes three conceptual levels of philosophy, strategy and practices, and most importantly, emphasizes the importance of integrity and coherence between these levels. Summary This paper has described the process of fragmentation and dispersion of the debate on Japanese management over the last 50 years.

By drawing on the most important theoretical developments that have taken place since the inception of the Japanese management concept, we have been able to put forward a new definition of this concept. Finally, it is worth emphasizing what the potential benefits may be of redefining the concept and reviving the debate about Japanese management. First, the new definition allows researchers to overcome the current fragmentation and organize the debate by clarifying and narrowing down the most important features of Japanese management to personnel management in manufacturing companies. Second, by placing the emphasis on philosophy and strategies rather than specific practices, the new definition offers the possibility of comparative studies in the growing number of locations in which Japanese manufacturing plants are present.

Finally, by emphasizing the procedural character and the key importance of integrity in Japanese management, the definition sets an ambitious new direction for empirical research. As with Japanese multinational companies, the debate about Japanese management has entered the era of globalization. In the face of the threat of theoretical fragmentation and chaos, it is necessary to verify and organize these basic assumptions and definitions.

In this way it will become possible to communicate and exchange valuable knowledge on a scale far exceeding previous achievements. He argues that Japan could achieve a position as a global technological leader thanks to the adroit and supportive policy of the state and the dedication of enterprises to technological development. Because of growing competition from new, mainly Asian rivals, the old leaders need to adjust to the new situation. This means that in some fields of technology Japan will lose its advantages as well.

Introduction Technical and technological progress is one of the most decisive factors for the current and future economic position of the Japanese economy. This is considered in many theories of economic growth, where aspects of technological progress are often very important. Confirmation of this can be found both in the number of indicators describing the technological development of the country2 and the general perception of Japanese products as well as the whole economy as thoroughly modern and highly technologically advanced.

The s was a period when the technological gap between Japan and the most advanced economies closed, and the country entered a phase of technology creation, and the acquisition and consolidation of its position of global technology leadership. In the second 1 Technology is not, of course, the only factor of economic growth. In the classical approach there are three factors of production: land, labor and capital. In more recent concepts, both technology and entrepreneurship can be perceived as such factors.

This position of leadership should not, however, be taken for granted. In the early s a difficult period of economic slowdown for the Japanese economy began. At the same time, some dynamic changes occurred in the global economy and started influencing the balance of power within the global economy. It also posed challenges for Japan in the?? The analysis will cover the technological position of Japan related to other countries and the factors determining this position. The analysis will cover the most important areas of technology.

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The large amount of statistical data needed to achieve this goal influenced the research methods used in the paper. These include an analytical method analysis of primary sources in the form of statistical data collected by the OECD and the World Bank and a descriptive method. With a choice of two alternative routes, the government decided that economic development would be based on extensive economic ties with the rest of the world.

Both the government and the whole of Japanese society was convinced that the production and export of modern goods would quickly lead to economic and social advancement. In order for this to be possible, it was necessary to focus on improving the technological level of business enterprises and the entire economy. Technical and technological progress serves as an incentive for improving the efficiency of the manufacturing process, but it also influences the prices and the non-price competitiveness of export supply.

An increasingly favorable relationship between price and product quality makes consumers more willing to purchase such goods. All postwar Japanese governments were aware of this link. Therefore, deliberate state policy led to technological development. When private companies increased their position and technological progress was based on their commitment, governments were able to conduct a useful supporting policy. The Technological Leadership of the Japanese Economy? Along the same lines, directly after the war Japan was eager to take advantage of the technical expertise from more developed countries such as the United States, the United Kingdom, France and Germany.

Initially, the main channel of technology transfer was imports of machinery and equipment5, but in subsequent periods, the most desirable method of acquiring of technical knowledge became licensing. This was used in those industries that were the subject of industrial policy implemented by the state, especially in such industries as electrical and non-electrical machinery, chemicals, transportation and electronics. However, in later years, when the scientific base of the country began to develop intensively, Japan improved its ability to adapt foreign licenses.

Japan began to close the technological gap dividing it from the developed countries. Detailed data which illustrate this issue are presented in Table 1. According to Table 1, the largest increases in exports by Japan were recorded in the field of high-demand growth goods that are also high-tech products. In the group of medium-demand growth goods Japan also showed an increase, but less than in the previous group. Smaller but still positive changes occurred in the group of low-demand growth goods. At the same time, the perception of Japanese products on international markets was changing.

They became known for having the highest level of technological advancement, a high degree of reliability and relatively low prices. This was reflected 5 J. In , the share was 0. However, this did not mean that along with achieving a better position Japan was losing interest in acquiring foreign technical expertise. On the contrary, in parallel with the development of their own scientific research facilities and exporting the results of their technology, Japan was still interested in importing technology from abroad.

An illustration of this process, and at the same time a synthetic measure of the level of technological development, is the technology balance of payment, as measured by the difference of inflows and outflows arising from the selling and purchasing of the licenses. Chart 1. Doi: The information from Chart 1 clearly shows the changes which Japan has experienced in the balance of technology since the early s.

Yet by , revenues were almost equal to expenditures, resulting in a relatively stable technological balance. Growing demand for Japanese products around the world confirmed the effectiveness of the industrial and technological restructuring of the economy. The technological maturity of Japan in the 21st century Forty years after the end of World War II, Japan had established a strong position of technology leadership in the global economy.

A well-managed policy of industrial development and the technological involvement of private companies in a constant drive to improve efficiency through the implementation of innovation were the main reasons for this success, but public confidence about the benefits of technology development was also important. However, when symptoms of stagnation in the economy appeared in the early s, the technology and innovation field also displayed some disturbing phenomena. What is more, these were also perceived as attributing to the negative impact on the overall economy.

According to Marcus Noland, in the second half of the s Japan failed to meet virtually any of the criteria that should have been maintained for the national innovation system to be defined as effective. In addition, business was not supported by favorable risk-taking institutions, and the existing conditions did not facilitate the creation and dissemination of innovation.

Japan started to be perceived as a country that had lost not only its position in international trade and investment, but also its position of a technology leader. In Table 2, data is collected for Japan and other selected countries. These are two groups of countries, the first of which consists of the so-called traditional leaders including the US and Germany , while the second includes those countries that aspire to that role such as China and South Korea.

Countries such as South Korea and China have a significant advantage over the more developed countries such as the United States and Japan. This is not a result of lower volume in absolute terms, but above all of the base effect, which states that the size of the increase is related to a lower base, as in the case of Korea and China.

With all the importance of research and development, Japan has developed some specific characteristics in its scientific and research sphere it is mainly of civilian nature, it is primarily funded by the private sector, and in addition Japanese companies attach great importance to the effectiveness of these expenditures. This means that resources are focused in industry, and furthermore, the best specialists are working in industry.


This is primarily due to low openness to foreign capital, resulting in a lack of strong investor interest in the functioning of the Japanese market. The position of the United States, which in was the strongest, has weakened over time to Japan actively and peacefully began to participate in the international economy. However, in order to succeed on international markets it had to offer products which were not only reasonably priced, but would also have a high utility value.

These competitive advantages could only be provided under the rapid technological advancement of the country. Japanese products were increasingly finding buyers on international markets. Opinions were formulated that the Japanese economy was too heavily dependent on the current situation in the global economy. The demand on the international market, which by nature is independent of any policy undertaken by the governments of individual countries, created a certain burden for Japan.

A growing external demand had a positive effect on the condition of the internal economy and a low level of demand negatively affected the dynamics of economic development. Attempts to become independent from the negative impact of the external environment by stimulating domestic demand have not yet succeeded. The high level of technological advancement is conducive to the achievement of higher margins, and thus has a positive effect on the condition of businesses, foreign trade and the state of the economy.

However it is worth noting that the contemporary conditions for exporters are radically different from those observed in the s. The ever greater degree of the globalization of economic processes leads businesses increasingly to move their production processes abroad. This also results in changes to the foreign trade of each country.

Existing leaders need to make adjustments caused by the pressure of rapidly developing new actors in the global economy. Table 3 shows data on the exports of high technology products for selected countries from the beginning of this century. It can be concluded that, apart from , the value of exports of such goods has steadily increased. In , many national economies experienced a collapse in global trade, including in the area of high technology. The growth rate of exports of high technology goods varied between countries; the highest growth was demonstrated by countries such as China and South Korea.

To the same extent this is the result of the technological progress which has taken place in these countries, but it should be also treated as a result of the globalization of economic activities. For both China and Korea, a major role in their foreign trade is played by the import of components and sub-assemblies to be installed in the country of final stage of production.

Therefore, according to the traditional approach to trade statistics, the final product is recognized as highly valued. In reality, much of the value added to the final good is added in other countries. An illustration of this process can be found in Chart 5. This brings Japan to the level of South Korea, while the latter country is experiencing a growing trend. In particular, comparisons with China give negative results. Here again the hypothesis about the falling position of developed countries and the rising position of developing countries can be confirmed.

One area that has shown little improvement was the instrument industry, where there was an increase in surplus, and the aerospace industry, where the previously recorded deficit decreased. The changes described are illustrated in Table 4. The biggest decline in the share between and showed an electronic industry from The highest share in world exports of high technology goods was found in the instrument industry, but here too there was a decrease from This is also the consequence of internal transformations in each country.

In the developed countries there is a noticeable reduction in the share of high technology products exports in the total exports of manufactured products. This trend is also apparent throughout the world as a whole see Chart 6. This reflects the positive changes in the structure of production and exports of developing countries. In the case of Japan, data on the share of exports of high technology goods in the manufacturing export are similar to that for the global average.

A more detailed analysis of the structural changes leads to the conclusion that less and less importance in exports can be attributed to the group of computers and peripheral equipment. On the other hand, the electronic components group is growing in importance. This confirms the earlier statement about the rise of fragmentation of international production and its vertical integration, also in the case of Japan.

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In imports two groups have become less important: computers and peripheral equipment and electronic components, while the others have shown an increase. In the first decade of this century the trade balance worsened in each commodity group. In the field of foreign trade, one of the most widely used measures is the index of revealed comparative advantage RCA.

This concept refers to the relative trade performance of individual countries in particular commodities. A country reveals comparative advantages in products for which the RCA indicator is higher than 1. Revealed Comparative Advantage RCA of selected economies in and products, printing and beverages and tobacco Manufacturing n. In Japan showed no superiority in the field of basic metals and fabricated metal products. In other areas the relative advantage dropped slightly. If the non- traditional method for calculating the RCA is taken into account, in many cases the advantage of Japan was even greater.

This means that foreign trade in terms of RCA does not show dynamic negative changes. However, in such an approach towards competitiveness, one can clearly notice modifications for increasing the relevance and competitiveness of developing countries.

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They occupy leading positions in more advanced product groups, which must result in processes of adjustment in developed countries. Due to the deepening of the production fragmentation process, countries at lower levels of development are increasingly frequently producers of technologically advanced final goods.

This inevitable process of geographical transformation, due to the increasing intensity of the globalization and growing freedom to relocate any element of the value- added chain, is reflected in the RCA indices in the traditional sense.

However, measures describing this problem but using the concept of domestic value added show that the developed countries still have a greater advantage than would result from traditional measures. This is also the case for Japan. Conclusions On the basis of the analysis in this study, it can be concluded that the technological progress and innovation which took place in Japan in the postwar period was one of the most important factors contributing to the improvement of its international competitiveness.

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At that time, it was rated as one of the world leaders in technology. Since the beginning of the s, domestic and international factors greatly complicated the circumstances. Domestically, the Japanese economy began to experience long-term economic slowdown. Abroad, together with the increasing globalization of economic activities, Japan was obliged increasingly to compete not only with developed countries but also with emerging economies.

For more, see R. Stehrer, N. Foster, G. If the global market is a place for conducting business, the technological advantage should be measured not only from a macro-level national , but also from a micro- one the level of individual enterprises. If a modern company freely locates elements of its value chain abroad, Japanese corporations can also do so.

However, in the case of Japan, those aspects that are of the highest value added still remain within the country. These are elements which require high amounts of capital, knowledge, elevated expertise and a highly skilled workforce. This is supported by the amount of expenditure on research and development, which in Japan is principally provided by private companies. Japanese corporations are also interested in promoting innovative solutions, which is confirmed by one of the highest number of patent applications in the world and the participation in triadic patent families.

The share of trade in high technology goods is falling, as this is mainly relocated to Asian countries Korea and China. However, this is a macroeconomic view. From a microeconomic point of view, the situation is not as clear. Due to the fact that modern manufacturing processes are subject to fragmentation, it is difficult to determine the final contribution to the final products of particular companies. In the case of Japan, it is certainly high input, which can be confirmed by the increasing share of exports of electronic components see Table 5.

The continued importance of Japanese companies in the global economy and its technological leadership may be also proved by data on the participation of selected Japanese companies on the world market. These and other examples indicate that the technological position of Japan, although changing, still remains strong thanks to the activities of individual companies. In a time of general discontent with traditional politics and politicians, the prefectural governor, chief executive of the larger local government body and elected by popular suffrage, occupies a political office which seems to offer large opportunities for populist behaviors.

However, the diversity and continuous increase in the number of such situations may, albeit sometimes in an extreme, deformed way, indicate the emergence of a new kind of democracy in Japan. Candidates with backgrounds as media celebrities and no political experience have emerged victorious, while seasoned or amateur politicians elected as governors have also brought a deeper emotional approach to the way they conduct politics.

Campbell ed. Krauss and Scott C. Flanagan eds. MacDougall is writing about Japanese local chief executives, not uniquely about prefectural governors. Yet these as well may be extreme signs of an extensive transformation process for Japanese democracy. What is populism? Numerous attempts have been made by social scientists and historians to offer a more precise, scientific definition or even a typology of populism. Nevertheless it remains an important concept, in his opinion, midway between descriptive and normative statements. Populist governors in local Japan: emergence and factors of development since the s The eruption of populism as an issue in Japanese local politics is usually dated from the gubernatorial elections in Tokyo and Osaka.

The same factors contextual, institutional and structural which explain this emergence have continued since then to nurture populist tendencies among prefectural governors. The Tokyo and Osaka gubernatorial elections: an eruption of populism at the cores of Japan? On April 9, elections were held to the positions of the governors of Tokyo and Osaka. But in both Tokyo and Osaka, it was the fame and popularity Aoshima and Yokoyama had gained through TV shows and movies that helped them to be elected. These elections triggered a volley of comments on their populism and the threat they represented.

Critics from the intellectual sphere spoke out against these results and the attitude of voters, especially regarding the election in the national capital. For Sone Yasunori, the Aoshima vote was an opposition vote, without any specific expectations. Gubernatorial populism: factors of development since the early s Various conditions have favored the expansion of populism: the erosion of ordinary channels of mediation traditional political parties, local or national politicians , the growing importance of the media especially television in politics, and the personalization of power direct elections, bans on holding multiple mandates, etc.

Contextual factors Contextual factors30 have played a decisive role in the rise of populist behaviors in local Japan since the s. This trend was not unique to Japan, and has also been noted in the United States or in Europe. The treatment of the economic recession in Japan which arose in the early s following the bursting of the speculative bubble proved the poor ability of the Japanese political and administrative elite to efficiently manage a crisis for which they were at least partly responsible. The sluggish state of the economy also demonstrated the failure of the State to carry out a global project that would make sense for the entire population in a country where economic development had been central in the post-war period.

Other major reasons related to the ethics of elected officials have also fueled the disavowal of political parties by the Japanese electorate: the maintenance of a government by money kinken seiji 32, widespread structural corruption33, and finally the questionable relationship between part of the conservative establishment and members of the Japanese underworld and extreme right-wing groups. Since the beginning, the Japanese political parties, with the exception of the JCP, were never mass parties. The Liberal Democratic Party LDP , which is well-structured at the national level, is far more loosely organized at the prefectural level.

Mann and Sasaki Takeshi eds. Prefectural Governors and Populism in Japan 67 supported at least one party during these three years. Moreover, the electorate which described itself as supporting a specific party was also very volatile. While in electoral decline in the s and s, the LDP was able to clearly win two major elections in and against its main challenger the Democratic Party of Japan DPJ , both times by efficiently capturing the floating vote.

Krauss and Robert J. Hook ed. Institutional and structural factors Along with a favorable context gained through the rise of floating votes and media popularity, populism has also found great potential for development in regard to governorship in Japan and the post-war characteristics of this office strong legitimacy, personalization of power, local leadership and a supra-partisan approach among others.

One of the major transformations of the Japanese local government system during the post-war period was the introduction of a direct election mechanism for local chief executives governors, mayors. Along with it, the prohibition of holding more than one mandate at a time50 ensures guaranteed availability and proximity from the governor for the residents. Lastly, the governor is provided with a right of representation, making him the natural spokesman of the prefecture at both the national and international levels.

The double process of legitimation and personalization of the gubernatorial position works mainly through direct election, the rule of non-accumulation and the right of representation. These factors cement the commitment of the governor to the territory, which offers him a solid foundation to build a political leadership at the local level. Such leadership is made possible by the predominance of the executive in the local government system. Prefectural Governors and Populism in Japan 69 affairs the appointment of high-ranking prefectural officials, self-regulatory authority, submission of the executive budget bill, etc.

While the local assembly is endowed with greater power than in the pre-war era, the governor remains historically the dominant force in prefectural politics. Candidates for the governorship and governors themselves tend to refuse any public display of connection with a specific political party.

They prefer to appear officially under the banner of Non-Political Affiliation mushozoku, NPA during the electoral campaign. This generally translates not as candidates refusing any political support, but instead as a large coalition of almost all the principal local parties supporting one particular name ainori in Japanese. The elected governor then adopts a supra-partisan approach in the prefectural government, acting for the good of the community or at least the local establishment. Japanese governors are therefore provided with vast political power, a strong potential for local leadership and popular legitimacy while the ongoing decentralization process since the mids has in fact mostly reinforced the local executive, notably after the revision of the Local Autonomy Law LAL in Despite some limitations, the combination of these different factors periodically opens up opportunities for the election of populist candidates, and also to greater transformations of local politics in which populism is just one part.

Elected to their positions for the first time in and , both successful novelists, they represented two ideological extremes for governorships during the first half of the s. See Ibid. Despite a reputation as a provocative writer, he entered the Diet in under the banner of the conservative LDP. He rose gradually in the party hierarchy58 until when he failed in the race for the presidency. In this pamphlet, the authors insisted that Japan regained its independence from the United States, arguing that the technical knowledge and capacity of the country was the foundation of the US military arsenal.

With about 1. Ishihara expressed regret that this expression had shocked the large Korean minority in Japan, but he refused to apologize. Moreover, he regularly continues to accuse the foreign population, this time illegal residents, of being the source of the surge in new crimes in the capital. The government finally purchased the islands, causing the anger of the Chinese and Taiwanese authorities, and a series of violent anti-Japanese protestation movements in mainland China Ishihara is a personal friend of the former Taiwanese president Lee Teng-hui, architect of the democratization of the island, and close to the pro-independence parties The Japan Times, May 20, Ishihara puts little value on older women and the French language.

The actions of the governor of Tokyo have not been limited to such provocations, however, and Ishihara has conducted several reforms in the prefecture, from trying to improve local public finances 77, developing Haneda Airport78, and relocating the Tsukiji fish market. Ishihara was selected as the new leader of this political party, and was elected to the Diet in the December general election. The new location, the site of a former factory, is however believed by some to be full of pollutants. But above all, like many Japanese, it was the revelation of the terrible situation of the survivors of the great Hanshin-Awaji earthquake that prompted him to get involved in activism.

He then participated in the local opposition against the construction of Kobe airport. From this experience, he drew mixed conclusions on the effectiveness of this type of action and on the intentions that motivate these groups. On October 15, , Tanaka was elected, winning nearly , votes more than his opponent, and became the fourth governor of Nagano since Tanaka nurtured the image of a man accessible to all and with nothing to hide; he regularly toured the prefecture, and he published his travel and foods expenses on the prefectural official website.

His popularity was one of the highest among Japanese governors in Quoted by The Japan Times, October 16, They are implemented by public bodies such as ministries , political parties, business companies, etc. The main criticism of these clubs is that they help to maintain a closed relationship between journalists and official sources.

Journalists are tempted to reproduce the information obtained in these clubs at the expense of more thorough inquiries and investigations. For more, see Susan J. Pharr and Ellis S. Krauss eds.


He carefully chose his clothing, avoiding the classic dark suits of bureaucrats and politicians. In November , he suspended the construction of the Asakawa dam on the outskirts of the city of Nagano, a project which had been ongoing for 23 years. In this text, he declares his desire to preserve the rivers and lakes of Nagano for future generations. He also discusses the environmental and financial cost of the water reservoirs formed by dams, which must be regularly checked to prevent the accumulation of sediment.

The dam became the core issue of the struggle between Tanaka and the Nagano local assembly. The tension reached its peak in the first days of July At the end of June, Tanaka declared his intention to cancel the construction of the Asakawa and Shimosuwa dams. On July 5, , a motion of no confidence against the governor was passed by the prefectural assembly. This was a rare event, whose only precedent since the introduction of the measure during the Occupation period was in , against the Gifu governor Hirano Saburo for corruption. In response to the motion, Tanaka chose to remain at his post.

Automatically removed ten days later, he decided to seek a new term in the following election on September His main opponent, the lawyer Hasegawa Keiko, received the unofficial support of almost all political parties and numerous other organizations. Confronted with this situation, Tanaka led a campaign based solely on volunteers and civic movements. On September 1, , the election drew a turnout of Tanaka won a landslide victory with more than twice the votes of his opponent Hasegawa , votes to , Both were forced to leave office. Original version, in Japanese, published in Shukan Kinyobi, September 6, Prefectural Governors and Populism in Japan 75 between the governor and his assembly.

Different kinds of populism? Although radically different in their political style, these two governors put forward the support of the population as an argument to justify their policies. An analysis of voting behaviors in the Nagano gubernatorial election in ], Annual report of the Regional Studies Institute, Ibaraki University, No.

As previously described, Tanaka refused to participate in party politics and preferred to appeal directly to the people. He protected the environment, the quality of life and constitutional pacifism, while his policy platform focused on participatory democracy, a question of growing interest at that time. Populism in local Japan: an extreme form of a new democracy? Populist behaviors on the rise Along with governors labeled as populist by most media and scholars, populist behaviors appear to have been rising since the s, notably with the success of TV celebrities tarento in gubernatorial elections, the clear opposition by elected candidates to any support from established parties, and the populist remarks made by various governors.

The surprising results of the Tokyo and Osaka gubernatorial elections were strong signals of the importance of non-affiliated voters and the growing irritation of citizens toward the traditional political establishment. Other candidates with similar tarento backgrounds to Aoshima and Yokoyama, who sometimes had no political experience at all, emerged victorious in gubernatorial elections during the s.

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Despite his political background and the support of the local LDP, he decided to run both campaigns as a NPA, minimizing the role of the LDP and partisanship in his candidacy. The following quotes are also extracted from the same page. An independent candidate without the support of any large party , Asano embarked on an original campaign while facing an opponent supported by the main local parties. The campaign was organized on the principle of voluntary individual mobilization rather than groups agricultural, construction, etc. These various examples of populist tendencies or attitudes seem, by their diversity and their increase, to signal a deeper evolution of Japanese politics at the local and even national level.

Development of emotional, theatrical politics Starting in the early s, the Japanese political world went through a series of scandals while the country entered a period of economic recession following the bursting of the economic bubble. These events stirred the electorate to a heightened sense of mistrust toward not only their political elites but also the bureaucracy. This trend manifests itself in a growing rejection of parties and traditional political practices that are radically transforming Japanese politics at the national level.

Inoguchi Takashi and Purnendra Jain argue that in the s, Japan has moved from a karaoke democracy to a kabuki democracy. Since the late s, some elected local executives in Japan have displayed different attitudes from the traditionally elected governors. Yet rather than integrating more closely within national political parties like the DPJ and the LDP, they choose to position themselves as outsiders.

This attitude fits with the space open for amateur candidates to join politics through the governorship as an alternative road into the Japanese political world. Born in , Hashimoto became a lawyer after graduating from Waseda University, one of the top Japanese private universities. Registered with the Osaka bar, he took a large number of cases, notably those related to the entertainment world. These connections eventually offered him a chance to appear on various TV shows. He gained national fame by providing legal advice with a youthful and stylish appearance. The objective was to reduce the cost of two large administrations on a small territory, and to prevent the construction and management of similar infrastructure projects such as stadiums or libraries by municipal and prefectural administrations, both of which were heavily in debt The idea was met with skepticism by several academics and by hostility from many local politicians, in particular Hiramatsu Kunio, mayor of Osaka since With the former Tokyo governor at its head, former Osaka Governor Hashimoto as acting representative, the incumbent Osaka governor as secretary-general and even the former Miyazaki governor as a top member of the party, Nippon Ishin no Kai is without doubt an original attempt by a group of individuals with experience in a local executive position to play a direct role in national politics.

While many academics and commentators consider these party figures mostly as populists, there are also the representatives of a new kind of Japanese democracy with greater focus on charisma, emotions and personal qualities. Several of them were elected to the Diet in the December general elections. Yet, despite this good start, the party has been plagued by internal friction and has faced many difficulties in , and the last electoral results of July were relatively disappointing.

See Mainichi Shimbun, November 21, See Yomiuri Shimbun, December 17, In a general context of dissatisfaction with traditional politics, the post-war particularities of the governorship in some aspects offers an even more favorable ground for populism than national politics. Koizumi was able, more than anyone else before him and maybe even after him, to use the various media in the construction of his own political and public image, increasing the role played by the media in the Japanese political world as well as the personalization of power at the head of the country two elements highly favorable to the expansion of populism during his years as prime minister.

Yet since Koizumi, the national trend has slowed down compared to local politics. Anyway, the development of populist behaviors in local Japan, especially among governors, predated these national transformations by several years. There are, without doubt, potential dangers and risks posed by the spread of populism for any modern democracy. For example, the nationalist and populist postures periodically adopted by local executives like Ishihara and Hashimoto or prime ministers like Koizumi and Abe, in part to please some of their electorate, have further deteriorated the already such as Inoki Antonio a former professional wrestler and Shimizu Takayuki a former television presenter were among the party candidates elected.

See Yomiuri Shimbun, July 22, Prefectural Governors and Populism in Japan 83 tense relationships between Japan and its neighbors. Various institutional, political and social constraints exist, particularly at the national level, to prevent serious endangerments to the current Japanese democracy by populists. The growing number of local and national politicians who focus intently on personality, charisma and emotion does indeed introduce these elements, connected generally to populism, more decisively into Japanese politics. This may also act as a partial solution to the problem of voter apathy, which is a major danger for a sane democracy as Tocqueville famously points out.

For the Nagano gubernatorial election, see above part 4. The creation of a nation state based on a strong nationalism followed the European developmental pattern, but was built on Japanese cultural traditions. One of the aims of this paper is to trace back the sources of this process, suggesting that pre-modern and culturalist conceptions of community were also used.

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Why a European comparison, and not Asian? This question can generate another question: where does Japan belong? Japan today is a highly developed industrial, or rather post-industrial country and society, with a Western-type democratic state and institutions, a member of the G8, and one of the most developed countries in the world. Although some aspects of its culture originate from Chinese or Buddhist civilization Confucianism, Buddhism, Tao, the writing system , Japan shows significant differences compared to East Asia in its social structure, history and culture.

These characteristics taken together signify a great many differences, and may provide sufficient arguments for the view that Japan is not unambiguously a part of Asia. Japan was secluded until the s, then after the arrival of the Western powers to the region, it did not become a colony, but achieved domestic development and formed a strong nation state with a homogeneous culture.

The nation- and state-building process of the Meiji period followed the Western model, but the foundation upon which it was built had been laid in the Edo period. Regarding our topic, the national issue, and especially the question of nation building, again important differences can be seen between Japan and other Asian countries. Asian nationalistic movements for independence were a direct reaction to colonization.

In this case, Asian countries like China, Vietnam and India had experienced long periods of colonial history under European rule, and nationalistic movements rose up in an attempt to throw out foreign influence and gain independence. For example, in India it was British rule that unified the country, and British education produced educated Indians, familiar with Western ideas, who actually created Indian nationalism. This means that the national awakening in India began with the modern period, and that it was a consequence of colonial rule, of getting to know Western ideas the Enlightenment and their influence.

In the case of China, national identities, ideologies and movements arose only after the arrival of the Western powers, under the influence of Western ideas colonization. Pujari, S. Compared to other Asian empires, where modern national ideas and movements started to emerge and spread after the appearance and impact of the Western powers on their territories, national movements in Japan began long before the Western powers appeared there. As Japan was closed to Western influence until the s, it had very limited contact with Western ideas.

After opening up, Japan did not become a colony, but took the influence of the western World and started a modernization policy that was so successful that at the beginning of the 20th century Japan became the only modern state in the world which did not emerge from the roots of Western civilization. Nation and national identity in Japan Interpreting the process of Japanese modernization in the 19th and 20th centuries still poses a challenge for social sciences and humanities. The creation of a nation state based on strong nationalism followed the European developmental pattern.

In line with the modernist theories of nationalism, we can perceive the necessary components of a modern nation and national identity. According to these Hobsbawm, Anderson, Gellner, Breully 7 , the nation is an artefact of modernity to which it is inextricably linked. A nation is defined as a body of individuals that have been initiated into a common high culture by the processes of industrialization and the institutions of modernity.

The political rather than the cultural characteristics of the nation are emphasized. Anderson famously characterizes it as a limited, sovereign imagined community that came into being with the advent of print capitalism, the death of traditional religions and their idioms. A nation is thus seen as a socially constructed community, imagined by the people who perceive themselves as part of that group. Nations and nationalism are products of modernity which have been created as means to political and economic ends.

All these can be applied to Meiji Japan. All these are analyzed in details in the secondary literature about Japan. What people think they are determines their identity, so these mental images become objective facts of forming social reality. This process is very important in the emergence of the modern nation-state. They had to fit into the historical experiences and collective memories of the people of the community in order to be accepted and internalized. Jansen ed. Tipton, Modern Japan.

Jansen et al. The use of history in order to construct and legitimize a sense of a commonly shared culture is a pattern which has been observed in different countries. The national identity is constructed in more or less the same way in different societies or nation-states; however, the material used to construct a sense of national identity naturally varies. The Japanese discourse on national identity is not unique, but the historical materials it draws on and the national culture it helps to re create are.

And so we arrive at the main theme of our paper. And this process, before modernization, is our main concern here. Many factors that modernist theories presuppose as the roots of modernization were already present or slowly being formed over time in the Edo period. The terakoya and han schools in the country also provided education for the commoners18, and thanks to this system the Japanese population had achieved a high degree of literacy at the end of the Edo period. See Dore, Education in Tokugawa Japan, pp.

Tuttle, , pp. Books and media are printed in the vernacular in order to maximize circulation. As a result, a common discourse emerged. This idea helped to form a homogeneous state with no power divisions, and mass vernacular literature was a truly useful tool to spread this idea. Nation building in the 18th and 19th centuries: Kokugaku Kokugaku : in the two characters used, the first, koku, means country or nation.

In practice, Kokugaku was far more complex than this definition suggests: it served as a means of distinguishing between what was genuine Japanese culture from what was Chinese or Indian or European culture. He noted that while most Kokugaku scholars had a nativist agenda, they were far from alone in this. Nativism, classically defined as the ambition to revive or perpetuate aspects of indigenous culture in response to a perceived threat from other cultures, did not originate with the emergence of Kokugaku, nor did it expire with the demise of this school in the Meiji period.

However, he emphasizes that not all nativism was Kokugaku by focusing on the efforts of Hirata Atsutane. In the early modern period, Neo-Confucianism27 was the main current of scholarship, and one of its main tenet was the study of the classics, which eventually led Japanese scholars to the investigation of Japanese classics, and thus a specifically Japanese tradition and thought by means of Japanese documents, to contrast it with the study of Buddhist writings or Confucianism based on the Chinese classics. Eventually, the philological investigation of Japanese historical works or classical literature came to be referred to as Kokugaku.

Its task was to study ancient Japanese literature by means of scrutinizing the exact meaning of ancient words. As an academic discipline, it relied on philology as its methodological tool to bring out the ethos of Japanese tradition freed from foreign ideas and thoughts. It displayed a discourse that aimed at restoring the classical world of ancient Japan. They 27 Byron H. From the start of the movement it had political and religious implications as well. His work, Kojikiden Commentaries on the Kojiki transformed Japanese conceptions of their own history and culture and made the Kojiki a central work in the Japanese cultural canon.

The problem was that the Kojiki was written entirely in Chinese characters, but Norinaga insisted that it was possible to discover the ancient language within this complex system of inscription, and actually he rewrote the Kojiki in what he claimed was the ancient language using kana the Japanese syllabary. Total Economic Losses: He commits suicide shortly after the invasion of Japan. Originally only wielding ceremonial power, but was given full power since he was the only man the scattered remnants of the Japanese people would be willing to rally behind.

Masada is assassinated by forces loyal to General De-Tierra who then seizes power. Japan went from periods of outright aggression against the Chinese to long periods of isolation from the outside world including China. Since the beginning of recorded history in Asia these two nations have been bitter enemies and rivals; both competing for influence, resources, and territory within Far East Asia.

This bitter rivalry would lead to some of the greatest tragedies of both the Second and Third Human Civil Wars. The Second War would see the Japanese murder tens of millions of Chinese civilians in cold blood while decimating large areas of China. The Third War would see the Chinese commit mass genocide against the Japanese people as revenge for the Second War that occurred a hundred years ago in the past.

The Third War would make the Japanese a people without a home and hunted to the point of near extinction by the Chinese Hegemony. The Empire of Japan with the help of their recently modernized military and industry would single-handedly defeat the Central Powers in the Pacific. Once the war was over with an Allied victory the Japanese received little new territory from the Treaty of Versailles which ended the war.

The Japanese felt cheated by the treaty and claimed that the other victorious Allied European powers were snatching up all of Germany's colonies in the Pacific for themselves. The Japanese were restricted in the number of battleships and total military vessels it could build compared to the United States and Great Britain.

The Japanese felt snubbed by the West and decided to turn away from the West and prepared itself to take the land and resources it needed to become a world power by force. The Japanese war machine easily overwhelmed a severely weakened China Note: China was in the middle of a Civil War and the Japanese slaughtered millions of Chinese in their drive to conquer China. The Japanese considered the Chinese to be subhuman and tortured or killed many of them even holding contests on who could behead the most. The Allies, in particular the United States and Britain would fight a long campaign against the Japanese Empire to retake the Pacific island by island.

The Japanese resisted bitterly and caused monstrous casualties to the Allied forces in the Pacific. The closer the Allies came to Japan itself the more fanatical the Japanese were in defending their island strongholds. By mid the Japanese Empire was the last Axis power left standing and it was surrounded by the Allies who were on the verge of invading. Instead of invading the Japanese mainland the United States dropped two atomic bombs over Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

The war ended soon after and the Japanese Empire surrendered. A defeated Japan submitted itself to being occupied by the United States of America.


The US imposed a new constitution on the defeated Japanese Empire which prohibited its right to wage war, maintain an offensive military, established a parliamentary democracy and made the Emperor of Japan a ceremonial figurehead. Japanese society radically changed and rapidly recovered during the American occupation Since Japan was prohibited to maintain a real military and didn't fear any of its neighbors attacking it Japan was protected under the United States security blanket.

Japan was able to focus exclusively on its economy and become a global economic powerhouse. Eventually the United States collapsed economically during the Second Great Depression and the Japanese were forced to fend for themselves. The Japanese by this time already had a significant defensive military, but to ensure its survival against a rising China it overturned the US imposed sanctions in its constitution Treaty of Kyoto and began to rearm itself.

This infuriated the Chinese who had not forgotten the horrible atrocities the Japanese committed against its people during the Second Human Civil War, but Japan was no longer the expansionist racial centric empire it once had been a hundred years before. China ignored the Japanese attempts to reconcile and instead the Chinese government instigated anti-Japanese hatred within China. The Chinese began to use its new economic clout, control of the seas, and its stranglehold on precious metals to push Japan out of many global markets.

Japan took a huge financial hit due to these efforts by China but instead of being ruined the Japanese continued to thrive because of its colonies beyond Earth. The Japanese along with the United States and India had invested heavily in the establishment of dozens of colonies in the Moon, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and other celestial bodies.

These colonies provided a constant stream of raw materials, gold, precious metals, hydrogen-2, etc and helped push Japan out of the Second Great Depression. By the People's Republic of China had become extremely aggressive against the Japanese, even going so far as shooting at their cargo ships along the Strait of Malacca. China flatly rejected the offers and Sino-Japanese relations continued to deteriorate. In mid the United States asked Japan to assist in protecting Taiwan from a possible Chinese invasion.

The Americans attempted to defuse the situation by intimidating the Chinese by sending the entire US Pacific fleet to the Taiwanese Strait. Japan and numerous other nations sent a small token fleet to assist the US, but all of the Allied ships were destroyed when the Chinese went ahead and still invaded Taiwan. The first two years of the war went by without much actual fighting between China and Japan aside from a few naval skirmishes.

The Chinese Hegemony completely ignored the Japanese except for the occasional missile strikes and aerial bombardments on Japan. Prime Minister Akaki refused to commit Japanese forces outside of Japan although Korea and the Philippines reluctantly asked for assistance to repel the Chinese invaders from their countries. Prime Minister Akaki tried in vain to enter into peace talks with China by refusing to fight against the Chinese. Akaki left office in an unpopular and broken man and was replaced by Prime Minister Maaka of the Japanese Communist Party. Maaka promised the Japanese people that he could bring peace with communist China as long as they changed to be accepted into China's new world order.

Maaka issued new sweeping changes throughout Japan that included converting the Japanese capitalist economy into a communist economy by The change in economic systems caused untold havoc to Japan's manufacturing, industrial and agricultural sectors which led to a complete lack of food and finished products on the Japanese Islands. Maaka also demanded that the Americans abandon their military bases in Japan and in early the Americans pulled out of Japan.

The Chinese entered into peace talks with Japan shortly after, but it was only a rouse to allow them sufficient time to prepare for the invasion of Japan. Maaka visited Beijing on July. China promised Japan a place in the Hegemony and offered peace in return for Japan's subservience to the new order, control of Japan's colonies beyond Earth, and access to Japan's advanced technologies. Maaka returned to Japan with a peace treaty and on Nov. On Nov. China declared war on Japan and Maaka begged for an audience with China to resolve the matter. An invasion seemed imminent as millions of PLA soldiers and vehicles gathered in occupied Korea just across the Korean Strait.

Prime Minister Maaka begged the People's Republic of China to reconsider, but they continued to ignore his pleas.