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Chapter 7

How East Asians View Democracy-Chapter 7 Japanese Attitudes..
How East Asians View Democracy-Chapter 7 Japanese Attitudes and values Towards Democracy

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University of Toronto St. George
Political Science
Lynette Ong

Ernie Tam 2011-10-19 How East Asians View Democracy-Chapter 7 Japanese Attitudes an Values Towards Democracy “Ultimately, democratic legitimacy is established when no other system of governance is perceived as a viable alternative”-Linz and Stepan Big Ideas • Japan has a well established democratic system and the ideal of democracy is strong among citizens but paradoxically, Japanese citizens are highly dissatisfied with the performance of the system and pessimistic. • The Japanese understanding of democracy is static and system oriented rather than dynamic and process oriented b/c of the American establishment of the system. (no active participation beforehand) • Age and generation is a factor in influencing perception of democracy. (esp. among young people) • When economy is not a concern, democratic values are more of a concern. (Inglehart’s theory) • Possible explanation of pessimism towards democracy: Japanese culture to be unassertive and low key in their involvement in the democratic system. Intriguing Case • Japan is the longest established democracy in East Asia and had enjoyed a brief period of democratic reform in the Taisho era. (Before World War II) • Industrialization was started earlier too. Historical Background of Japanese democracy • First Stage of democracy 1945-1955 o Parliamentary system was a multi party system o There were many minority governments/coalitions formed during this period o Conservative and progressive camps competed for seats o A lot of political strife through the breakup of political parties and alliances. • Second Stage of Democracy 1955-1993 o New Party system: One Party dominance o Emergence of LDP (Liberal Democratic Party) with the amalgamat
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