Horiba International Conference

August 19 & 20, 2010
Fukutake Auditorium, University of Tokyo - Hongo Campus

Admission is free and advance registration is not required.

A Tectonic Shift?
Structural developments, reform policies, and the collapse of LDP rule

The seismic 2007 Upper House election, the 2009 general election ushering the DPJ (Democratic Party of Japan) into power, and the recent Upper House election unequivocally demonstrate the structural collapse of the dominance of the LDP (Liberal Democratic Party),
which had ruled Japan for most of the postwar period. The aim of this gathering in Tokyo, on the eve of the first anniversary of the DPJ's landmark victory, and on the heels of its first electoral rout, is to examine in detail the two developments the participants think caused a tectonic shift in Japanese politics, forever destroying the old LDP regime: political adaptation to the new electoral system, and the policy responses to recurring downturns of the economy, characterized as the "lost years" since the early 1990s.

The conference will show how these two developments undermined the LDP's traditional electoral machine and created a vacuum for the DPJ to exploit. Our argument that the structural shift was caused by organizational adaptation to electoral reform and policy decisions
about the stop-go economy will be corroborated in three stages: Part One of the conference outlines how electoral reform and the stop-and-go economy compelled parties to undertake organizational and policy adjustments that undermined the old LDP regime. Part Two examines the process through which recurrent reforms, particularly the amalgamation of localities
and efforts at fiscal reconstruction, led to the weakening of the LDP's support base. The final part shows how the rise of the DPJ as a viable contender and the LDP's difficulty in charting a reform agenda led to a succession of unstable and short-lived governments.

Program http://issnews.iss.u-tokyo.ac.jp/images/20100819%20Program.pdf

August 19
Keynote Address
"Government Change and Foreign Policy"
Akihiko Tanaka (University of Tokyo)

Structural Developments: Politics and Policy

"Japanese Political Economy under New Electoral Rules"
Frances Rosenbluth and Jun Saito (Yale University)

"Who Reforms? The implications of OECD's experience for
Nobuhiro Hiwatari (University of Tokyo)

"Political Leadership, Bureaucratic Interests, and
Economic Reform in Japan."
Gregory Noble (University of Tokyo)

"The Political Consequences of Structural Change"
Kozo Miyagawa (Keio University) and Kay Shimizu
(Columbia University)

Junko Kato (Tokyo University)
Yu Uchiyama (University of Tokyo)

Matsumoto-rou (Hongo Campus)

August 20
The Political Consequences of Reform Policies
"What's Happening to the Post Office? The Hatoyama
Government and the Fate of Structural Reform"
Patricia MacLachlan (University of Texas at Austin)

"The Political Consequences of Inequality"
Yves Thiberghen (University of British Columbia)

"Geographic Income Distribution and the LDP"
Kyohei Yamada (Yale University)

"Decentralization Reform and the Demise of the LDP
Jun Saito (Yale University)

Kawato Sadafumi (Tokyo University)
Yamada Masahiro (Kansei Gakuin University)

The Political Consequences of Political and Policy

"Candidate Positioning in the Japanese Diet"
Shigeo Hirano (Columbia University) and Kosuke Imai
(Princeton University)

"Do Presidential Primaries Help Political Parties? An
Assessment and Prognosis"
Kenneth McElwain and Michio Umeda (University of

"Cabinet Approval, Economy, and Structural Reform"
Yukio Maeda (University of Tokyo)

"The 21st Century Japanese Prime Minister: An Unusually
Precarious Perch"
Benjamin Nyblade (University of British Columbia)

Steve Reed (Chuo University)
Masaki Taniguchi (University of Tokyo)

Closed Session


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