Asia Europe Journal

, Volume 4, Issue 3, pp 381–397 | Cite as

Local level political and institutional changes in Japan: An end to political alienation?

  • Gesine Foljanty-Jost
  • Carmen Schmidt
Original paper



In Japan, a steady increase of non-voters is evident on the national and local levels over the past few decades. However, since the mid-1990s, a new wave of political participation at the local level has attracted politicians as well as social scientists. Citizen participation is increasing in terms of the number of non-profit organizations, participatory procedures, and engagement in new political networks. Citizens growing involvement in local politics coincides with institutional changes that offer new autonomy in respect of local policy-making.


In this paper, we will argue that these local trends might have an impact on national politics through the repolitization of citizens. However, preconditions are, ceteris paribus, the restoration of political trust through participation and institutional changes that support citizen involvement in politics.


Local Government Citizen Network Voter Turnout Local Politics Political Trust 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department for Japanese StudiesMartin Luther University of HalleWittenbergGermany
  2. 2.Faculty of Social SciencesUniversity of OsnabrueckWittenbergGermany

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