2001 年 55 巻 3 号 p. 165-174
(1) The political system
The constitutional system of contemporary Japan is a parliamentary government system, in which several political parties contest to garner as many seats as possible in order to make a cabinet. Members of House of Representatives ceaselessly try to maneuver in order to form a majority group, preferably a stable majority group. Many a political drama has been played by professional party politicians, sometimes ending successfully in a formation of new political power, othertimes ending in aborted plots.
On the other hand, party politicians, although fully immersed themselves in the intrigues of party politics, cannot forget the general elections and home constituencies. In the Japanese system constituencies are not assigned to the party politicians by the central authorities of the respective party, but relegated to the free choice of every party politicians. Party politicians usually choose their constituencies by such considerations as family and relative relation, birth place, school background, and business connection. They go home to their constituencies every weekend, even during the session. Also, the communication networks between party politicians and their supporters in their constituencies are provided by such mass media as newspapers, radio and television networks. Thus, political reporters usually come to know well-organized support relationships between voter groups and party politicians.