Japanese Politics in Bilayer Perspective
Junzō Iwasaki, the late HC member of the LDP, composed the above poem defining hanashiai or informal discussions behind closed doors where hon’ne or “frank opinions” can be freely exchanged as real politics (1994, 281). Plenary sessions are void of frank discussions and are filled with the formality of articulating ideological and party lines expected by respective constituents and the public at large.1 He served in the HC and served as LDP IPRC vice-chairman as well as Minister of State.2 He presided over the LDP Presidential Election when Jun’ichirō Koizumi was elected on April 24, 2001. These are the words, expressed in a short 31-syllable poem, of a seasoned Diet member who passed away on July 7, 2004 who honestly portrayed how he felt about politics in the highest organ of the state. Why is it that the plenary session in which pros and cons are debated is not where real decisions are made? What is then the real politics, as a veteran politician defines it?
KeywordsPrime Minister Plenary Session Opposition Parti Rule Party Opposition Party
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