Policy, Regulation, and Administrative Guidance
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It must seem strange to American readers who are so used to the ascendency of the politician to learn about a government in which the center of gravity for public policy formulation lies in the hands of the professional staffs of government agencies rather than in the legislative body. It is interesting to speculate whether the role of the professional public administrator would be as strong if Japan had not had a single ruling political party for so many years, and if one or more of the other political parties had succeeded in creating viable political agendas in competition with the Liberal Democratic Party. Had that happened, it seems likely that more of the debate, negotiation, and policy decision-making would have taken place outside of the ministries in the Diet or in public forums. Had there been other parties coming into office, it seems likely that the political differences inside the ministries would have shifted and changed much more than they have. While the internal conflicts between factions in or between ministries has been fierce, and has been a force for the consideration of alternative policies, it certainly has not produced any substantial departures from the broad national policy mainstreams laid down by the LDP and successive LDP-dominated Diets and Cabinets.
KeywordsLand Subsidence Liberal Democratic Party Unfair Labor Practice Affair Bureau Administration Bureau
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