Japan under the DPJ: The Politics of Transition and Governance

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.

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