|Budget Amount *help
¥1,700,000 (Direct Cost: ¥1,700,000)
Fiscal Year 2006: ¥600,000 (Direct Cost: ¥600,000)
Fiscal Year 2005: ¥500,000 (Direct Cost: ¥500,000)
Fiscal Year 2004: ¥600,000 (Direct Cost: ¥600,000)
One is a forthcoming book chapter titled "Party Switching as a Means of Changing Party Systems in Japan." Since 1993, Japan has experienced party breakups and mergers, and witnessed the formation of new parties, all events that are rare in industrialized democracies. As a result, the predominance of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) over perennial opposition parties has evolved into the LDP-centered governing coalition against the second-largest party-first the New Frontier Party (NFP) and then the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ)-contending for office. A change in the electoral system took place during this period, and party switching by legislators has led to a change in the balance of power among parties. The following analysis distinguishes between two thresholds-an absolute or formal majority (FM), and a stable or decisive majority (DM) that overcomes institutional constraints. When the balance of power among parties undergoes change, using these two thresholds to analyze legislative competition reveals two facts : legislators are likely to switch parties for different reasons related to office, policy, posts, or reelection when the balance of power among parties can be affected ; the second-largest party sees itself able to take advantage of the two thresholds, especially if the largest party attains an FM but falls short of a DM.
Another is an on-going data analysis on policy positions of political parties. Political scientists express and analyze differences of political positions by using "scaling" or "distance." The basic idea is the same as the geometric modeling in cognitive psychology but no one has ever explored this parallel in divided disciplines. I am analyzing the data of international survey using Multi-Dimensional Scaling and tries to contribute both to political science and cognitive psychology. I am planning to present on this at the Psychometric Society Meeting held in Tokyo, July, 2007.