Process Tracing of Asbestos Politics in Japan: Focus on Fiscal Years 2005 and 2006


This chapter examines the political processes in the enactment and implementation of the Act on Asbestos Health Damage Relief in 2006. A lot of earlier studies on asbestos problems have examined and clarified the state of asbestos-related health damage, the negative influences on society, and so forth. However, the political impact caused by asbestos disasters, especially the Kubota Shock (June 2005), has not been elucidated in detail. The political process approach is supposed to make up for a lack of comprehensive understanding of the asbestos issue. Based mainly on the Asahi Shimbun database and official documents, I explore how such diverse stakeholders as the ruling party, core government executives, ministries and government offices, companies, and local governments have mutually struggled and considered the measures over the asbestos issues.


Local Resident Liberal Democratic Party Hyogo Prefectural Workplace Accident Mesothelioma Patient 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Awano M (2006) Asbestos disaster (in Japanese). Shueisha, TokyoGoogle Scholar
  2. Falleti T (2006) Theory-guided process-tracing: something old, something new. Newsletter of the Organized Section in Comparative Politics of the American Political Science Association 17(1):9–14Google Scholar
  3. Iio J (2006) Japan’s structure of government (in Japanese). Chuokoron Shinsha, TokyoGoogle Scholar
  4. Japan Industrial Safety and Health Association (2005) Ordinance on prevention of asbestos hazards (in Japanese). Japan Industrial Safety and Health Association, TokyoGoogle Scholar
  5. Kamikawa R (2007) Transformation of the policy process after the election of 2005 (in Japanese). Jpn J Elect Stud 22:54–68Google Scholar
  6. Kataoka A (2006) The backdrop to the asbestos disaster at Kubota’s defunct Kanzaki factory in Amagasaki City: facing a reality far worse than imagined. Res Environ Disruption (in Japanese) 35(3):49–54Google Scholar
  7. Kent Weaver R (1986) The politics of blame avoidance. J Public Policy 6:369–398Google Scholar
  8. Kitayama T (1995) Local policy initiatives. In: Muramatsu M, Kume I, Iqbal F (eds) Local government development in post-war Japan. Oxford University Press, Tokyo, pp 222–241Google Scholar
  9. Kurumatani N, Kumagai S (2006) A significant clustering of mesotheliomas among residents around an old asbestos type production plant: epidemiologic aspect and bitter lesson. J Occup Health (in Japanese) 48:143–145Google Scholar
  10. Machidori S (2005) Political reforms and their impact on the long administration by Prime Minister Koizumi. Chuokoron (in Japanese) 120(4):176–186Google Scholar
  11. Machidori S (2006) The strong Prime Minister’ becomes common. Chuokoron (in Japanese) 121(4):174–184Google Scholar
  12. Mori M (2008) Strategic environmental regulations? A case of asbestos politics in postwar Japan. Kagawa Law Rev (in Japanese) 8(1):43–129Google Scholar
  13. Nakayachi K (2005) Why was Kubota forgiven? The asbestos crisis as reflected in corporate responses and environmental risk psychology. Risk Manag Bus (in Japanese) 20(11):20–23Google Scholar
  14. Nottage L (2006) The ABCs of product safety re-regulation in Japan: asbestos, buildings, consumer electrical goods and Schindler’s lifts. Griffith Law Rev 15(2):242–286Google Scholar
  15. Otake H (1996) Political and economic power in contemporary Japan, expanded edition (in Japanese). San-ichi Shobo, TokyoGoogle Scholar
  16. Otake H (2006) A study of populism: Koizumi Jun-ichiro (in Japanese). Toyo Keizai, TokyoGoogle Scholar
  17. Ryu K (1988) The concept of ‘pre-decision’ in the policy making process. Kyoto Law Rev (in Japanese) 123(4):48–71; 124(1):91–125Google Scholar
  18. Takenaka H (2006) The Prime Minister’s rule (in Japanese). Chuokoron Shinsha, TokyoGoogle Scholar
  19. Uchiyama Y (2007) Koizumi administration (in Japanese). Chuokoron Shinsha, TokyoGoogle Scholar
  20. Yamaguchi J (2007) The Cabinet system (in Japanese). University of Tokyo Press, TokyoGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Graduate School of Public PolicyRitsumeikan UniversityKyotoJapan

Personalised recommendations