Japanese Government


KUDO, Hiroko

Credits / Language / Semester

2Credits / English / Winter


The course has three major topics, which are the goals as well;
1) To understand the historical and institutional evolution of Japanese government. Its institutional-setting and political-administrative system would be introduced from a comparative point of view.
2) To understand the system dynamism and decision-making process of Japanese government. In this regard, politics-bureaucracy relationship, characteristics and mechanism of Japanese decision-making process and organizational issues of Japanese institutions would be analyzed and discussed.
3) To understand the issues and policies of Japanese government. Major issues and policies in the past and in recent years would be discussed. Especially for this section, selected guest speakers would be invited to provide recent policy cases of Japanese government.
The course would be divided in three parts according the topics above mentioned. In each section, course participants will be provided a pack of reading materials, which would be discussed after the introductory lecture of the instructor. Participants are asked to find cases (Japanese and those of their countries of origin) to be examined and be presented during the course. Selected cases would be discussed at the end of the course.
As recent issues and policies of Japanese government, special attention will be paid at center-periphery relationship, decentralization, devolution, privatization, deregulation, and agencification. Further issues include; e-Government, ICT policy, performance measurement, policy evaluation and performance based project budgeting as recent policy topics.


Government,Governance,Public Policy,Policy-making Process,Public Management,English


1. Course introduction, Issues and characteristics of Japanese Government
2. Introduction to Public Management and Public Policy (theories)
3. Historical evolution on institution and policy issues of Japanese Government
4. Institutional and political characteristics of Japanese Government
5. Politics-bureaucracy relationship
6. Japanese decision-making process, Japanese policy-making process
7. Policy actors in Japanese decision-making process (politician, political party, related associations)
8. Policy actors in Japanese decision-making process (bureaucracy, business, interest groups)
9. Issues and policies of Japanese Government (major policy after World War II)
10. Issues and policies of Japanese Government (major policy after ‘80s)
11. Issues and policies of Japanese Government (‘90s and later)
12. Policy cases: center-periphery relationship, decentralization, devolution
13. Policy cases: privatization, deregulation, agencification
14. Policy cases: e-Government, ICT policy
15. Policy cases: performance measurement, policy evaluation, performance based project budgeting

Teaching Methods

Each topic is approached with: introduction by the instructor, reading of materials by the participants and highlighting the materials by the instructor, and discussion on related issues. Each topic is approached through several reading materials. After several topics are dealt, the instructor would wrap up the issues.


Attendance 10%, Contribution to the class 10%, Exercise Presentation 30% and Term Paper 50%

Required Text

Paper pack would be provided by the instructor.

Reference Books

A list of suggested readings would be also provided to the course participants.

Notes on Taking the Course

Active participation in discussions is required. Course participants are asked to make presentations.

Related Resources