Decentralization Reform in Japan – Stagnation or Advance? – Toru Yamada

Brief version of a paper for the International Conference on Decentralization held in Kanagawa University November 14th 2013.

(Ⅰ) Preface

In August 2009, a new Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) government under Prime Minister Hatoyama took power in a landslide victory, with 308 of 480 seats in the Lower House. The election marked a real change of government, which overthrew the long term dominance of the conservative party in Japan, the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP).The DPJ ran on a platform for “the local sovereignty” (decentralization reform), which was given one of the top priorities among its domestic policies. Now, after three years of DPJ three prime ministers, the reform-plans did not live up to their promises despite a few important advances. The decentralization reform has proved difficult to reach in the current Japanese political climate, especially with the unprecedented disaster of March 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami, and the extraordinary recovery effort that followed.Llegeix més »