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Japan's Dysfunctional Democracy: The Liberal Democratic get together and Structural Corruption

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Additional resources for Japan's Dysfunctional Democracy: The Liberal Democratic Party and Structural Corruption

Sample text

The reason: scores of young LDP Diet members had quit the LDP, thereby ensuring that the government would fall. These same defections, as it happened, ensured that the LDP would not be able to regain power in the general election that followed. Thus, the LDP failed to capture anywhere near a majority of seats in the July election, and the next government was headed by a coalition of eight parties that excluded the LDP. Yet by early 1996 Japan's prime minister was none other than the president of the LDP, the very party that the voters rather decisively rejected thirty months earlier.

How? He said: I intend to make every effort to break up the so-called collusion among politicians, bureaucrats, and industrialists [the so-called iron triangle], the politics o f special interest legislators; and other practices that have been hotbeds o f political corruption. 19 Public opinion polls showed that the people believed the charismatic Hosokawa, and for a short while it seemed that a quiet revolution was going to transform Japanese politics. Hosokawa's multiparty government managed to get major electoral and campaign finance reforms passed by the Diet.

Only a general amnesty in 1956 kept Sato out of jail. Hatoyama was depurged in 1951 and quickly reentered Liberal Party politics but in opposition to the Liberal Party chief Yoshida once it became evident that Yoshida would not relinquish power. That Yoshida chose not to defer to Hatoyama had nothing to do with a principled distaste for Hatoyama's prewar fascist beliefs. Instead, Yoshida, who by this time had brought scores o f former bureaucrats into the party, mistrusted Hatoyama's background as a party politician.

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