|Budget Amount *help
¥3,600,000 (Direct Cost: ¥3,600,000)
Fiscal Year 2006: ¥1,000,000 (Direct Cost: ¥1,000,000)
Fiscal Year 2005: ¥1,100,000 (Direct Cost: ¥1,100,000)
Fiscal Year 2004: ¥1,500,000 (Direct Cost: ¥1,500,000)
Since 1975, both in Japan and the United States, there have emerged a series of eruptions in which an amateur politician obtained unexpected popularity and strong political support because of his/her anti-professional, outsider style, in the background of increasing political mistrust. The recent political scientist names this phenomenon as populist upsurge. Originally, the concept of populism referred to Russian Narodoniki, North American Populism/Progressivism and the Latin American political regimes of leftist oriented authoritarian leadership. In these years, however, a new type of populism appeared in the United Sates and Japan, among other countries. In the U. S., the President has used the new populist political strategy, namely "going public," to overcome the resistance from the Congress and/or powerful interest groups. This became more and more frequent since the Cater Administration. In addition, direct democracy in the name of new populism, mostly in the form of anti-tax ini
tiative became increasingly popular among the masses there. In Japan, populist upsurges have been represented by the New Liberal Club in 1976, the Doi's Madonna boom in 1989, the Japan New Party in 1993, and the Koizumi-Makiko boom in 2001. Each populist politician has confronted the clientelistic politics symbolized by Tanaka (Kakuei) Faction and its followers. This confrontation has many similarities to that of urban political machine and reform movement in the United States.
Most of those populists are short lived in Japan. Koizumi was an exception. This study focuses why he alone had maintained strong popularity and popular support for several years and finally succeeded in drastic reforms. In order to answer to this question, I conducted four case studies on Koizumi Reforms : reform of highway public corporation, privatization of postal services, sending of Defense Forces to Iraq, and North Korean abduction cases.
So far, the political scientists in Japan commonly emphasize the importance of institutional factors to explain Koizumi's strong leadership, particularly the outcome of institutional reforms introduced during the Hashimoto Cabinet. In contrast, my research revealed the importance of Koizumi's Machiavellian leadership ability, his long experience as a faction (sub) leader and his bold, and risk-taking political style.. Less