Who claims to know “the will of the people” and what are those claims based on? Invocations of “the will of the people” play a much larger role in contemporary public discourses in Japan than in the preceding decades. In this paper, rather than trying to define the popular will in the abstract, the author compiles and examines newspaper articles dating from the Meiji period to the present day with “the will of the people” in their headlines. This historical survey reveals that the contexts in which “the will of the people” is discussed has changed and diversified over time. While the popular will is mostly evoked during national elections, an increasing number of news items refer to public opinion polling and local referendums as important vehicles through which “the will of the people” is expressed. The emergence of these new contexts has changed the power balance between politicians, journalists, and ordinary people regarding who has the authority to present their interpretations of the public's aspirations.
I use three waves of survey data conducted on three different cohorts of Japanese young people in order to understand how political attitudes develop. Two major conclusions emerge. First, most people do not develop attachments to parties early in life. Only politicized parents play an important role in their children's political development, suggesting a social learning model best describes the development of political values. Second, despite transformations in politics; the party system; and educational reform during the past twenty years, young people in 2009 strongly resemble those who came of age twenty years earlier.
The National Diet of Japan is composed of two chambers: House of Representatives (HR) and House of Councilors (HC). One of the reason why bicameral system has been sustained in Japan after World War II is to pluralistically reflect ‘the will of the people’ on policy making process. If so, does Japanese electorate positively evaluate the spirit of bicameralism? Do those who expect a pluralistic representation connect the expectation with their voting behavior? By analyzing Web survey data collected at 2013 HC election, this paper demonstrates that those who positively evaluate the spirit of bicameral legislature tend to vote for opposition party in HC election. This result means that these electorates try to realize a pluralistic representation under bicameralism by differentiating partisan distribution of seats between HR and HC.
This paper is intended to explore whig's discourses on electoral systems: (l)the universal suffrage, (2)the proportional representation and (3)the system of ‘a variety of rights of suffrage’ which was suggested by the 19th century's whigs like J. Mackintosh and W. Bagehot, in comparison with radical thinkers. Through this research, especially focusing on the last electoral system, I aim to clarify the role of the electoral system to represent various opinions rightly in the parliament. On the ground of defending a variety of opinions, whigs insisted on the revival of the system of ‘a variety of rights of suffrage’ based on each community, for they thought a community could integrate various elements into a real public opinion through the historicity that could have alleviated severe conflicts in local human relations by filtering off intense emotions and enthusiasm for self-interest.
This paper aims to measure agenda-setting effects of Japanese Newspapers on public opinion. The rise of the internet and social media caused a controversy over the influence of traditional news media on public opinion. Some researchers argue that social media reduced the influence of traditional news media, such as TV and newspaper, on the people. Other researchers argue, however, that TV and newspaper remain crucial to public opinion formation. This paper analyzes a panel survey which was conducted on frequent internet user to figure out agenda-setting effects of Japanese newspapers. The results suggest that Japanese newspapers still exert agenda-setting effects on public opinion. On the other hand, the results also show that watching TV news and using internet weaken the influence of newspapers on public opinion.
This article examines the impact of social capital on support for democratic institutions in Japan. Drawing on the Nationwide Time-Series Survey on Voting Behavior in the Beginning of the 21st Century (JES III, SSJDA version), the study shows that support for democratic institutions is more strongly correlated with “bonding” social capital than with “bridging” social capital. This surprising result appears to stem from the fact that unlike in the US, in Japan an individual's exposure to heterogeneous views promotes neither greater tolerance nor higher levels of generalized trust. The article also investigates the relationship between support for democratic institutions and other attitudes and behaviors. Individuals who express greater support for democratic institutions tend to place themselves further to the left of the ideological spectrum, but they are not more likely to vote.
Ever since Philip Converse's prominent work in the field, the viewpoint that ideological thinking represents the political sophistication of the electorate has become predominant. Ideology is, however, an essential requirement for uninformed voters, considering its heuristic role. Therefore, I hypothesize that ideological consistency tends to be low among people with high or low levels of political knowledge, whereas high consistency is observed among those with average political knowledge. Additionally, I argue that this hypothesis has particular relevance in contemporary Japan. Using an index that measures ideological consistency at the individual level, I examine data from three Japanese opinion polls conducted in the 2000s. The results support my hypothesis by showing that ideological consistency across issues statistically and substantially fluctuate according to voters' levels of political knowledge, forming a curvilinear relationship. This finding facilitates the rethinking and redefining of political sophistication.
This paper considers the implications of nonvoting in Japan. More specifically, I examine the possibility that voters and nonvoters differ in their socioeconomic statuses, resulting in the over-representation of voters with higher socioeconomic statuses in the electoral process. Using several survey datasets from the 2000s, my analysis reveals that additional educational attainment has a positive relationship with the likelihood of voting, while its relationship with policy preferences is complicated. Individuals with college educations are more supportive of expanding government welfare but are also supportive of maintaining fiscal discipline and increasing the sales tax. In the comparison of the opinion gap between voters and nonvoters, I find that voters are indeed more supportive of expanding government welfare with heavier tax burdens and increasing sales tax. Interestingly, these findings suggest that voters have more liberal attitudes on social welfare but more conservative views on tax policies. This study implies that nonvoters' political views are not fully represented by voters, but the economic cost of nonvoting is not particularly high for nonvoters in Japan.
The purpose of this article is to clarify the following 4 points: (1) To what extent are people organized? (2) How much bias is apparent in today's organizations? (3) To what extent have existing organizations approached politics? (4) Is there any structural bias? By comparative study of the data from surveys of voters, interest groups, and pressure groups in Japan, following observations can be made. The older generation is more organized than the younger. Organization is more developed in the profit sector. Interest articulated by new organizations is limited, while old organizations remain. It is therefore difficult to believe that the change of government in 2009 was due to interest group politics. Rather, at top level, interest group politics changed in response to the change of government. This suggests that group actions change easily, although in 2009, it was limited mainly to top level.
While recent studies have emphasized the importance of colonial studies in the vein of Yanaihara Tadao as a discipline dealing with issues arising from international migration, this article suggests that studies of private international law addressed similar issues. Since private international law presupposes the coexistence of different sovereign states with their own legal systems and the movement of people among them, scholars of modern private international law had a strong interest in migration-related topics such as the admission of foreign nationals and the legal status of resident foreigners. This article focuses on one of the pioneering scholars of private international law in Japan, Yamada Saburô, and argues that his views on international migration, while based on Règles internationales sur l'admission et l'expulsion des étrangers adopted in 1892 by Institut de droit international, presented his original idea, kyôdô seizon (community life or simply community).
The history of the concept of sovereignty is the history of its theoretical controversies. This is due to the fact that the founder of the concept, J. Bodin, defined it as “absolute”, that is, “free from all restraints and conditions”. This raised serious questions as to the feasibility of imposing certain limitations upon sovereignty. Side by side with the “absoluteness” controversy proceeded another, centering on “indivisibility” of sovereignty, the attribute which meant that sovereignty cannot be divided. Rousseau played a significant role in this controversy. Locke and Montesquieu, fathers of the “division of power” theory, are remembered for opposing and denying the “absolute” nature of sovereignty, on the one hand, and “indivisibility” on the other. What was denied in terms of “indivisibility”, however, was one aspect of sovereignty, while in the other aspect, sovereignty remains theoretically “indivisible” even today. Now that Bodin's “absoluteness” and one aspect of “indivisibility” have been denied, a new theory of sovereignty needs to be formulated on the basis of “Rule of Law” and universal norms and values of mankind such as world peace and human rights. If so formulated, sovereignty will win a new status of recognition and approval in the world of politics.
This article explores the reason why Plato sees poetry and myth useful for children's education in Book 2 and 3 of Politeia while banishing them from his ideal polis in Book 10. I address this problem firstly by interpreting the definition of mimêsis in Book 10. It shall be shown that the effect of mimesis on the audience - its making them identify themselves with characters in poetry - could be seen as the ground why Plato purges poetry from his ideal polis. In Book 10, however, he compares Homer to lawgivers and indicates that poetry should serve as a foundation for the steering of polis. This observation leads to the discussion of Book 2 and 3 how poetry could also be useful. This article analyzes, then, the elements in which the usefulness of poetry and myth for education consists.
The memories of French Algeria and the Algerian war of independence had been forgotten by French government for decades. Since the 1990's, however, monuments, laws and speeches began recognising memories related to that period. This article aims to understand why this change occurred. First, we will delve into the French context and examine how the memories of the Holocaust have been connected with those related to Algeria. The 1990's have also been a period during which immigrants became a “problem”: the “integration” of immigrants appeared as a solution. Secondly, we will study the case of the Cité Nationale de l'Histoire de l'Immigration, a museum devoted to the past of immigrants. By doing so, we will be able to understand that the recognition of memories does not necessarily involve the recognition of identities and that French government attempts to promote integration by recognising the memories of immigrants.
Historians assessing Richard Nixon's position on civil rights have changed several times. During the 1960 presidential campaign, Nixon openly defended civil rights including support of government action to ensure fair treatment in employment and education. However, in 1968 election, Nixon had won support from white Southerners in opposing busing and judicial activism. Political scientists have tried to explain Nixon's change based upon theoretical prediction of “issue saliency,” i.e. Nixon's shift was caused in viewing northern black voters as the critical swing voters in 1960 to viewing southern whites as necessary for his victory in 1968. However, I evaluate this prior explanatory hypothesis is insufficient in explaining Nixon's change: why Nixon changedhis position on the issue is still open to further inquiry. Relying upon primary sources that shed light on this puzzle, I revisit the 1960 presidential election as a diagnostic piece of historical events in explaining Nixon's change.
This study points out that the limitation of the analytical framework of “Autonomous Defense (or jishu bōei) vs. the Japan-U.S. Alliance” that scholars on Japan's postwar national security policy often use. On previous researches, this framework is applied arbitrarily and “Autonomous Defense” is compatible with “Alliance” in some cases. Then this research adopts analysis by “Defense Force Building vs. Operation” as another angle of vision. And it explains that the concept of “Repelling Limited and Small-Scale Aggression without External Assistance (or gentei shōkibo shinryaku dokuryoku taisho)” which appeared in the “National Defense Program Outline (or bōei taikō) 1976” and the “Guidelines for Japan-U.S. Defense Cooperation 1978.” This concept played the role as a measure for “Defense Force Building” in the two and then abandoned in the NDPO 1995 and the Guidelines 1997 by “Operational” request.
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