Skip to main content
×
×
Home

Removing Boundaries, Losing Connections: Electoral Consequences of Local Government Reform in Japan

  • Yusaku Horiuchi, Jun Saito and Kyohei Yamada
Abstract

In this article we examine the role of local politicians in affecting national-level election outcomes by focusing on the drastic municipal mergers in Japan that took place in the early 2000s. Specifically, we argue that the political party that relies most extensively on local politicians' efforts for electoral mobilization and monitoring will suffer an electoral slump when municipalities are merged and the number of municipal politicians is swiftly reduced. We empirically show that municipalities with a history of mergers exhibit significantly lower voter turnout and obtain a smaller vote share for the ruling Liberal Democratic Party in national elections when compared to other municipalities without an experience of mergers. This result indicates that municipal politicians are indispensable human resources for LDP candidates running for the national parliament.

    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      Removing Boundaries, Losing Connections: Electoral Consequences of Local Government Reform in Japan
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      Removing Boundaries, Losing Connections: Electoral Consequences of Local Government Reform in Japan
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      Removing Boundaries, Losing Connections: Electoral Consequences of Local Government Reform in Japan
      Available formats
      ×
Copyright
References
Hide All
Shimbun, Asahi. 2007. Asahi.com de miru 2007 Saninsen no subete [Everything about the 2007 House of Councillors elections as seen in Asahi.com]. Tokyo: Asahi Shimbunsha.
Asano, Masahiko. 1998. “Kokusei senkyo ni okeru chihō seijika no senkyo dōin: Idoshi genshō no nazo” [Do local politicians' mobilization efforts matter in national elections?]. Senkyo kenkyu [Japanese journal of electoral studies] 13: 120129.
Chihō Zaisei Chōsa Kenkyū Kai [Study Group on Local Government Finance]. 2002. Shichōson betsu kessan jōkyō shirabe, heisei 12-nen ban [Report on municipality financial statements, fiscal year 2000]. Tokyo: Chihō Zaisei Chōsa Kenkyū Kai.
Chihō Zaisei Chōsa Kenkyū Kai. 2008. Shichōson betsu kessan jōkyō shirabe, heisei 18-nen ban [Report on municipality financial statements, fiscal year 2006]. Tokyo: Chihō Zaisei Chōsa Kenkyū Kai.
Curtis, Gerald L. 1992. “Japan.” In Electioneering: A Comparative Study of Continuity and Change, ed. Butler, D. and Ranney, A., 222243. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
Dahl, Robert A., and Tufte, Edward R. 1973. Size and Democracy. Stanford: Stanford University Press.
Fenno, Richard F. 1978. Home Style: House Members in Their Districts. Boston: Little, Brown.
Fukui, Haruhiro, and Fukai, Shigeko N. 1996. “Pork Barrel Politics, Networks, and Local Economic Development in Contemporary Japan.” Asian Survey 36, 3: 268286.
Fukumoto, Kentaro, and Horiuchi, Yusaku. 2011. “Making Outsiders' Votes Count: Detecting Electoral Fraud Through a Natural Experiment.” American Political Science Review 105, 3: 586603.
Gaines, Brian J. 1999. “Duverger's Law and the Meaning of Canadian Exceptionalism.” Comparative Political Studies 32, 7: 835861.
Horiuchi, Yusaku. 2005. Institutions, Incentives and Electoral Participation in Japan: Cross-Level and Cross-National Perspectives. London: Routledge Curzon.
Horiuchi, Yusaku, and Saito, Jun. 2003. “Reapportionment and Redistribution: Consequences of Electoral Reform in Japan.” American Journal of Political Science 47, 4: 669682.
Horiuchi, Yusaku, Saito, Jun, and Yamada, Kyohei. 2009. “Politics of Municipal Mergers in Japan: The Electoral Resource Allocation of the Dominant Party.” Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association, Toronto, September 3–6.
Imai, Kosuke, Keele, Luke, Tingley, Dustin, and Yamamoto, Teppei. 2011. “Unpacking the Black Box of Causality: Learning About Causal Mechanisms from Experimental and Observational Studies.” American Political Science Review 105, 4: 765789.
Imai, Ryosuke, and Kabashima, Ikuo. 2007. “Naze Jiminto wa ichininku de zanpai shita noka” [Why the LDP suffered a landslide defeat in single-member districts]. Chuō kōron October: 190199.
Ishikawa, Masumi. 1995. Sengo seijishi [Postwar political history]. Tokyo: Iwanami.
Ishikawa, Masumi. 1999. Ochiteiku seiji [Corrupting politics]. Tokyo: Iwanami.
Jiyū Minshutō Gyōsei Kaikaku Suishin Honbu [Administrative Reform Task Force of the Liberal Democratic Party]. 1998. Shichōson gappeitō nitsuite no kangaekata [Guidelines for municipal mergers]. Tokyo: Jiyū Minshutō.
Jones, Mark P. 1997. “Federalism and the Number of Parties in Argentine Congressional Elections.” Journal of Politics 59, 2: 538549.
McElwain, Kenneth M. 2012. “The Nationalization of Japanese Elections.” Journal of East Asian Studies 12: 323350.
Myerson, Roger B. 1993. “Incentives to Cultivate Favored Minorities Under Alternative Electoral Systems.” American Political Science Review 87, 4: 856869.
Nichter, Simeon. 2008. “Vote Buying or Turnout Buying? Machine Politics and the Secret Ballot.” American Political Science Review 102, 1: 1932.
Persson, Torsten, and Tabellini, Guido E. 2002. Political Economics: Explaining Economic Policy. Cambridge: MIT Press.
Reed, Steven R., Scheiner, Ethan, and Thies, Michael F. 2012. “The End of LDP Dominance and the Rise of Party-Oriented Politics in Japan.” The Journal of Japanese Studies 38, 2: 353376.
Rosenbaum, Paul R. 1984. “The Consequences of Adjustment for a Concomitant Variable That Has Been Affected by the Treatment.” Journal of the Royal Statistical Society: Series A (General): 656666.
Rosenbluth, Frances M., Saito, Jun, and Yamada, Kyohei. 2011. “Electoral Adaptation in Japan: Party Strategy After Electoral Rule Change.” The Journal of Social Science 62, 1: 523.
Rosenstone, Steven J., and Hansen, John M. 1993. Mobilization, Participation, and Democracy in America. New York: Macmillan.
Samuels, D. 2000. “The Gubernatorial Coattails Effect: Federalism and Congressional Elections in Brazil.” Journal of Politics 62, 1: 240253.
Sasaki, Nobuo. 2004. Chihō ha kawareruka [Can local governments change?]. Tokyo: Chikuma Shobō.
Scheiner, Ethan. 2005. Democracy Without Competition in Japan: Opposition Failure in a One-Party Dominant State. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Shimizu, Kay. 2012. “Electoral Consequences of Municipal Mergers.” Journal of East Asian Studies 12, 3: 381408.
Soga, Kengo, and Machidori, Satoshi. 2007. Nihon no chihō seiji: Nigen daihyōsei seifu no seisaku sentaku [Local politics in Japan: Policy choices in presidential systems]. 1st ed. Nagoya: Nagoya Daigaku Shuppankai.
Sōmushō [Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications]. 2008. Chihō zaisei hakusho [White paper on local government finance]. Tokyo: Sōmushō.
Sōmushō Jichi Gyōseikyoku Senkyobu [Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications Local Autonomy Bureau]. 2007. Chihō kōkyō dantai no gikai no giin oyobi chō no shozoku tōhabetsu jinin sirabe nado [Partisan affiliation of municipal assembly members and municipal mayors]. Tokyo: Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communication.
Sōmushō Tōkeikyoku [Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, Statistics Bureau]. 2002. Heisei 12-nen kokusei chōsa [National census 2000]. Tokyo: Nihon Tōkei Kyōkai.
Tōkeikyoku, Sōmushō. 2007. Heisei 17-nen kokusei chōsa [National census 2005]. Tokyo: Nihon Tōkei Kyōkai.
Stokes, Susan C. 2005. “Perverse Accountability: A Formal Model of Machine Politics with Evidence from Argentina.” American Political Science Review 99, 3: 315325.
Weese, Eric. 2012. “Political Mergers as Coalition Formation: An Analysis of the Heisei Municipal Amalgamations.” Paper presented at the Georg Walter Leitner Program in International and Comparative Political Economy seminar series, Yale University.
Yamada, Kyohei. 2013. “Causes and Consequences of Municipal Mergers in Japan.PhD diss., Yale University.
Yokomichi, Kiyotaka. 2007. “The Development of Municipal Mergers in Japan.” Up-to-date Documents on Local Autonomy in Japan No. 1. Council of Local Authorities for International Relations (CLAIR), Institute for Comparative Studies in Local Governance (COSLOG), National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS).
Shimbun, Yomiuri. 2001. Saninsen 2001 dēta CD-ROM [Data CD-ROM for the 2001 House of Councillors election]. Tokyo: Yomiuri Shimbun.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Journal of East Asian Studies
  • ISSN: 1598-2408
  • EISSN: 2234-6643
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-east-asian-studies
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed