Don’t Think Twice about
Japanese Politics, It’s All Right
A lecture by Dr. Masaru Kohno, Waseda University
presented by The Japan Foundation, Toronto
Date: Thursday, March 3, 2011
Time: 7:00 pm (doors open at 6:30 pm)
Location: The Japan Foundation, Toronto
Address: 131 Bloor St. W. , 2nd Floor of the Colonnade Building
RSVP Required: www.jftor.org/rsvp.php or (416) 966-1600 x102
Japanese politics in recent years have often been described with such adjectives as volatile, confused, and unpredictable. Certainly, Prime Ministers resign frequently. True, public opinion seems to shift radically from one election to another, and yes, the tendency persists towards “a divided Diet” in which the composition of the majority differs between the two houses of the bicameral parliament.
Despite these appearances, however, it would be wrong to regard today’s Japan as an unstable democracy or a country that faces some crisis in governance. Dr. Kohno will argue, in his presentation, that none of the above patterns deviates from standard democratic practices nor challenges the legitimacy and integrity of the governing institutions, and that if anything those symptoms point to the maturity, not the precariousness, of Japan ’s democratic polity.
Dr. Masaru Kohno is a Professor of Political Science and the Director of the Research Institute of Contemporary Japanese Systems at Waseda University in Tokyo .
He is the author of Japan’s Postwar Party Politics (Princeton University Press, 1997).
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