In the summer of 2009 –for the first time in its post-war history– Japan experienced a heated election in which two opposing parties competed for control of the government. The lower house election toppled the ruling Liberal Democratic Party from its longtime grip of power. Just four years prior, the ruling coalition of the LDP and the New Komeito won a landslide victory in an election that was mostly about Prime Minister Koizumi’s proposed reform of the postal service. Forming a strong majority government, the proposed structural reforms were seen as rock-solid. After the resignation of Prime Minister Koizumi, however, the postal reform met criticism from within both the ruling and opposition parties. This culminated in the crushing defeat of he LDP in the 2007 Upper House election, its struggles in many local elections, and political instability that led to three prime ministers within a short time. Consequently, the influence and popularity of the Democratic Party of Japan increased dramatically. Our international conference –Exploring the Tectonic Change in the Political Economy of Japan– explores the variables to which these four years of political turmoil and unrest can be attributed and investigates how it relates to our knowledge about the role of democratic institutions in the market economy.
Exploring the Tectonic Change in the Political Economy of Japan
Friday, April 2, 2010 - 4:00pm to Saturday, April 3, 2010 - 6:00pm
Henry R. Luce Hall
34 Hillhouse AvenueNew Haven, CT 6511
This event is co-sponsored by the Council on East Asian Studies, the Yale MacMillan Center and the University of Tokyo.