This study theoretically analyzes the position of political parties' policies and explains the divergence of policies that parties choose. To this end, we build a model in which two political parties decide their policies by considering the effect of media coverage on citizens' voting behavior. In particular, we focus on the difference in each media's political stance as well as on the effect of media coverage on citizens' evaluation of parties. The main results are as follows. First, we explain the circumstances in which parties differentiate their policy platforms. In particular, by considering the parties that aim to maximize their expected votes, we show that they choose divergent policy positions for considering media's effect on voters' decisions. We also show that the equilibrium policy does not maximize social welfare. In addition, we describe the case in which each party chooses its policy by considering not only its expected votes but also the party's ideal policy. We fi nd that the winning party always chooses the party's ideal policy and this policy is realized.
The purpose of this paper is to examine the institutional effect of parallel system on the party system and candidate system in Japan. It has passed almost 20 years since the new electoral system was introduced as the electoral system for the House of Representatives. From 1996 the election under the parallel system was carried out 6 times. In this paper, influence on the party system and the candidate system using the concept of effective number of party and candidate proposed by M. Laakso and R. Taagepera is examined. The fi ndings of this research show that the Duverger's law is functioning until the 45th general election in 2009.
This study examines, using the municipality-level data, that the electoral system of the House of Councilors and Local assembly has an impact on changes in the vote share in the election of the House of Representatives.
In Japan, a mixed system is adopted in the electoral system of the House of Representatives, the House of Councilors and Prefectural Assembly. In addition, because the mixed system of HoC and PA is composed of single member district and multi member district, inconsistent of district magnitude occurs in the municipality-level.
Considering the split ticket voting and electoral strategy of political parties, inconsistent of district magnitude impede the expansion and strengthening of local organizations of the Democratic Party Japan.
The result of an analysis indicate that the more district magnitude of HoC and PA increases, the more changes in the vote share of the Democratic Party is also increased. The results of this analysis suggest that the confl ict structure of the Liberal Democratic Party to non-Liberal Democratic Party has not changed with the 1955 regime.
The Japanese election system has many distortions. Malapportionment, both in the Lower House and Upper House, gives the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), which is based in the rural areas, a huge advantage, while putting the other parties, based in urban areas, at a disadvantage. It was difficult for the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) to get seats in rural areas and they even lost their seats in the urban areas. The Second House (Upper House) is very influential in Japanese politics. The Single Non-Transferable Vote (SNTV) system that is followed in the Upper House gives no decision-making powers to the two-member districts and multiparty breakups to the three- and five-member districts. Significant decision-making power is concentrated in single-member districts, which are in rural areas, and this distorts the decision making even more. SNTV in local assemblies causes a contamination effect in the single-member districts in the National Diet, especially in urban areas.
Japan should reform its apportionment system to ensure Pareto improvement or economic efficiency. It should also do away with SNTV elections and establish a two-party system.
Apportionment of electoral districts by age bracket, with Demeny voting as an option, could be yet another interesting idea for the national government to consider.
To the public, highways and roads are the most familiar public utility. Therefore, every people have their own opinions and complain against highway and road administration. The public and the groups, for instance trucking industries and automobile manufacturers, have strong interests in highway and road policy, and infl uence its decision-making processes. During the last decade, Japan has experienced several failures in the highway and road policy-making. This paper picks up three policy topics such as the privatization of the Japan Highway Public Corporation, the transfer of automobile related taxes from the earmarked expenditure for highways and roads to the general account, and the change of the metropolitan expressway toll structure from a fl at fare system to a kilometer-based fare one. These three cases indicate that the decision-making process of the highway and road policy cannot result in optimal situations. For more appropriate highway and road policy, this paper proposes introducing constitutional rules into decision-making processes for the highway and road policy in Japan.
The purpose of this paper is to clarify the situation of aging of infrastructure in Japan using the ratio of net capital stock to gross capital stock, and to reveal the problems about the maintenance of infrastructure based on the infrastructure asset management system, which is introduced in the local government of Japan in recent years. With respect to the aging of infrastructure, we fi nd that the aging of infrastructure in Japan is proceeding and that there are variations in the age of infrastructure between prefectures. Especially, the sewer system is especially aging in urban areas and has large variation between prefectures. The road is younger than others and the variation of age between prefectures is small. In the point of the problems about the maintenance of infrastructure, we must think about how to include the fairness in the system of infrastructure asset management. In addition, we have to decide how to set the level of safety in infrastructure through the information about the safety of infrastructure.
This paper discusses the “aging” of the public capital in Japan. The paper consists of two parts. One part is the quantitative analysis of the aging by calculating the vintage of public capital, and the other part is the proposal to evaluate the quality and asset value of each public infrastructure or public facility. By the future calculation of the vintage, the aging of the core infrastructure such as road, airport, harbor, and the capital related to soil and water conservation will become so serious. Moreover, the vintage of the road is negatively correlated with the fi nancial index, which is the indicator to specify how much the prefectural governments can collect their own taxes. As proposals for the evaluation, we suggest the introduction of the infrastructure report card and the appraisal for the asset value of each public infrastructure or public facility.