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The Political Class in Advanced DemocraciesA Comparative Handbook$
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Jens Borchert and Jürgen Zeiss

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780199260362

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2005

DOI: 10.1093/0199260362.001.0001

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Japan: Political Careers between Bureaucracy and Hereditary Constituencies

Japan: Political Careers between Bureaucracy and Hereditary Constituencies

(p.245) 13 Japan: Political Careers between Bureaucracy and Hereditary Constituencies
The Political Class in Advanced Democracies

Claudia Derichs

Harold R. Kerbo

Oxford University Press

The chapter provides an overview of the historical development of politics as a profession from the time of Japan's opening to the West until today. It looks at the polity dimension of Japanese politics and discusses the political class under four aspects: size, scope, political recruitment, and political careers. It addresses specific features of the Japanese political class such as the relatively little importance of political parties for recruitment, the comparatively high percentage of hereditary seats in the parliament, the strong position of the bureaucracy, the great influence of advisory bodies, and the frequent occurrence of economic scandals.

Keywords:   corruption, factionalism, Japan, Meiji restoration, ministry bureaucrats, oligarchs, party competition, political class, shingikai

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