The SAGE Handbook of Modern Japanese Studies includes outstanding contributions from a diverse group of leading academics from across the globe. This volume is designed to serve as a major interdisciplinary reference work and a seminal text, both rigorous and accessible, to assist students and scholars in understanding one of the major nations of the world.

Parties and Elections in Japan

Parties and Election in Japan
Kenneth Mori McElwain


The central meme of postwar Japanese politics is the Liberal Democratic Party's (LDP) electoral dominance. Following its formation in 1955, the LDP held a majority in the House of Representatives for 38 consecutive years. Every prime minister came from its ranks, and through its control of the government policy apparatus, the LDP established deep formal and informal networks with other elite actors, particularly the bureaucracy and major business conglomerates. However, this ‘1955 system’ came crashing down in the watershed 1993 election, when the LDP lost its majority and was replaced by an eight-party coalition of opposition parties. The new coalition government fulfilled its popular mandate to change the electoral system, but fell apart shortly thereafter due to disagreements on most other issues. The LDP returned ...

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