2005 年 56 巻 2 号 p. 170-194,253
There are two factors that affect the level of political participation in relation to local government size. One is the closeness of local government to residents and the other is a degree of people's expectation towards the capacity of local government to deal with local or regional affairs. This article focuses on the second factor and examines the correlations between voter turnouts and the scale of local/regional government such as prefectures based on a survey of residents and a statistical analysis. The results of the analysis can be summarized as follows: Firstly, the survey confirms that people who are better informed about the provision of public service by a prefecture tend to have more confidence in the policy performance of a regional government. Secondly, those with higher expectations towards regional government are more likely to vote. Thirdly, those residing in prefectures with a higher degree of fiscal concentration (which is a measure of a prefecture's relative governance capacity) have greater expectations towards their respective local governments. Finally, the degree of fiscal concentration has positive correlations with voter turnouts. These findings point towards an issue of improving problem-solving capacities of local governments through the concentration of resource at a higher level of governance, although this must be considered in the context of an overall decentralization and devolutionary trend.