The Journal of Japanese Studies

 

Abstract

RICHARD J. SAMUELS
Leadership and Political Change in Japan: The Case of the Second Rincho

Ideology, social movements, class conflict, culture, and state power dominate most scholarship, whereas leadership is discounted—especially in Japanese studies.  This case study of administrative reform demonstrates how powerful individuals manipulate constraints in creative ways, tipping the balance of historical inertia in directions of their choosing—even in Japan.  Businessman Doko Toshio and politician Nakasone Yasuhiro reconfigured Japan’s ruling coalition, effectively eliminating the distinction between “mainstream” and “antimainstream” conservatives.  They warned the bureaucracy that a greater degree of political control was possible and eviscerated the political base of the Japan Socialist Party, the LDP’s most formidable rival under the “1955 System.”

Volume 29, Number 1 (Winter 2003)
© 2003 Society for Japanese Studies


 

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The Journal of Japanese Studies
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