International Handbook of Public Management Reform
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International Handbook of Public Management Reform

Edited by Shaun Goldfinch and Joe L. Wallis

This major Handbook provides a state-of-the-art study of the recent history and future development of international public management reform.
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Chapter 19: Public Sector Management Reform in Japan

Kiyoshi Yamamoto


Kiyoshi Yamamoto Introduction The Constitution of Japan stipulates the Parliament (Diet) as ‘the highest organ of state power’ and the ‘sole law-making organ of the state’ (Article 41). The legislative branch is a bicameral body, composed of the House of Representatives (lower house) and a somewhat less influential House of Councillors (upper house). Parliament selects the Prime Minister, to whom the Cabinet is collectively responsible, rather in the fashion of the British Parliament. Executive power is vested in the Cabinet, making the Cabinet, rather than the Diet as a whole, the dominant actor in the system. The Cabinet consists of the Prime Minister and Ministers of State appointed by the Prime Minister. In the exercise of executive power, the Cabinet is collectively responsible to the Diet. At present, there are 17 Ministers of State who are the heads of the respective ministries. The central departments charged with public sector reform are the Cabinet Office, the Ministry of Finance (MOF) and the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC). The Cabinet Office is responsible for planning and framing related to the basic principles, the MOF manages public finance, and the MIC is responsible for controlling the number of Civil Servants and evaluating the performance of all government agencies. The role of the Cabinet Office is to exercise control and supervision over the various government agencies, prepare the budget, conduct affairs of state, manage foreign affairs and conclude treaties with the Diet’s approval. The majority of bills passed by the legislature are...

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