Japan’s Bureaucracy in International Perspective
Selected institutional features of Japan’s national bureaucracy highlighted and juxtaposed with those of other countries.
Scholars generally agree that the political influence of Japan’s modern national bureaucracy is strong (Bowornwathana and Poocharoen 2010; Nakamura 2002). This cannot be said of all bureaucracies around the world, and countries can vary considerably in what makes their bureaucracy strong or weak. It is beyond the scope of this chapter to provide an exhaustive list of sources illustrating these variations or to comprehensively assess the extent to which Japan’s bureaucracy is stronger or weaker than bureaucracies elsewhere. Instead, this chapter discusses selected institutional features which arguably contribute to the view that Japan’s bureaucracy is rather strong. These features are juxtaposed with institutions in other countries to...
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