The Politics of Structural Reforms

The Politics of Structural Reforms

Social and Industrial Policy Change in Italy and Japan

Edited by Hideko Magara and Stefano Sacchi

For countries undertaking economic or political reform the case of Italy and Japan is both highly instructive and sobering. The Politics of Structural Reforms reveals what Italy and Japan gained and lost through a series of social and industrial reforms in the 1990s and 2000s, and why the changes they made in their policies have had little impact in softening the recent economic crisis.

Chapter 2: The residual Japaneseness of Japanese corporate governance

Ronald Dore

Subjects: economics and finance, political economy, politics and public policy, political economy, social policy and sociology, comparative social policy, labour policy


One of the more colourful politicians still active in Japanese politics is Kamei Shizuka, scion of a daimyo dynasty and a former senior police officer who led a famous siege of a Red Army country hideout nearly 40 years ago. He is the leader of a small political party (Nihon Shinto) whose posters in Tokyo in the spring of 2012 summarized the four ‘truly conservative’ things he stands for: stopping resident aliens from having the vote in local elections; stopping a move to allow women officially to be known by their maiden names after marriage; reversing the privatization of the post office; and insisting that firms should make permanent employees of all temporary workers. Something of a nostalgic maverick then. But when Yukio Hatoyama was forming his first cabinet after the 2009 election, which saw the victory of the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ, also Minshuto), he needed Kamei’s handful of votes in the Diet. Kamei, then primarily concerned with reversing the post office privatization, bargained for the cabinet-level job of head of the Financial Services Agency.

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