Japan government and history

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University of California - Berkeley
Political Science
Chrystal Chang

 Why study this case?  First modern nation-state in Asia and the first to industrialize in Asia th  It is the world’s 4 largest economy, but has been in decline since the 1990s… but why?  The current political system was imposed by USA, but has been proven stable.  It is a liberal democracy but one political party (LDP) has dominated politics  Geography + Demography  They’re isolated, both making them prone to invasion and easy defense  Highly dense population because only 12% of Japan is inhabitable  7 thousand islands  35 million people in Tokyo metropolitan area  127 million people  Religion: o Shintoism: 83.9%, Buddhism 71.4%, Christianity 2%, 7.8% other  Ethnic composition is 98.5%, Koreans .5%, Chinese .4%, other .6%  Demographic challenge: 24.8% of people are +65  Historical Development of the State  Premodern Japan: Adapting Chinese Institutions: o Influenced by Tang China and adopted its imperial system o Also adopted its civil system o 8-12h centuries: Shift of power from imperial court to rural elite (daimyo/samurai)  Tokugawa Shogunate: Centralized Feudalism:  Arrival of Commodore matthew perry  Meiji Era  Restoration.  ―Revolution from above‖ by an alliance of junior samurai  Took away class divisions and declared it all equal  Took away of Samurai powers  Imperial expansion and defeat:  Japan invades china in 1932-37  Japan defeats Russia in 1904-05  Japan annexes Korea in 1910  Taisho democracy in 1918-1931  1941: Pearl Harbor attack  US Occupation: Reinventing Japan:  It is now peaceful, but is it democratic?  Political Institutions:  Parliamentary system with mixed electoral system  Unitary system (47 administrative divisions)  Constitution o Written by two members of MacArthur’s staff in 6 days, and quickly adopted by the new Diet o Made he emperor a symbolic figurehead with no political power o Constructed an elaborate system of representative institutions, including universal suffrage, a bicameral le
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