The application of systems theory to a particular country is beset with practical and theoretical problems. In most cases, organizations and even individual players in the field of energy politics cannot be classed unambiguously with the relevant subsystems of economy, politics, or technology, but are part of their interactions. The Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI), for example, is an organ of the Japanese public administration, but its activities are at the interface between politics and the economy. It is the central representation of business in the government. At the same time, through its advisory and regulatory powers, it represents the government with respect to industry. In turn, the government is not simply a political organ; the economy is deeply entrenched in it by a variety of mechanisms. A particularly visible example is the great number of councils and committees as well as trade and industrial associations formed and controlled by MITI. The political administration of MITI, the minister’s office in particular, has to translate the reasonings of MITI’s offices, divisions, departments, bureaus, and agencies into political power, in terms appropriate to the political system. The same holds for individuals. The minister of MITI receives prestige and political power from being a major voice of the economy and, at the same time, he represents politics vis-a-vis the economy. Okimoto (1989) gives a perspicacious account of this.
KeywordsEnergy Policy Industrial Association Political Administration Energy Politics Economic Planning Agency
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