The Japanese Voter


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Scott C. Flanagan, Shinsaku Kohei, Ichiro Miyake, and Bradley M. Richardson; Foreword by Warren E. Miller

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This landmark work surveys the major factors that influence voting behavior in Japan. It is the first comprehensive study of the Japanese voter to be written for English-speaking audiences.


It is commonly believed that Japanese voting behavior cannot be compared to voting behavior in the West because it is not determined by the same kinds of group loyalties, interests, and attitudes but rather by unique patterns of personalistic networks and group mobilization. However this book demonstrates through a wide range of examples that there are recognizable bases of comparison between Japanese and Western voting behavior. It also produces a number of fascinating contrasts with voting in the West, because Japan is different, even if it is not unique. Thus we learn about the relative absence of economic voting, the weak role of the media, the continuing importance of cultural values, the enormous stability in voting patterns, and the effects of the unusual Japanese electoral system. Drawing on data from the 1950s onward, the book includes coverage of the most recent national elections in Japan.

"This book is wholly original in its magnitude, comprehensiveness, and complexity. It should become the Japanese version of Political Change in Britain and The American Voter."—James W. White, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

"This book will expand the universe on which we build our theories of electoral behavior."—W. Phillips Shively, University of Minnesota

"The most comprehensive and thorough study in English so far of voting behavior in Japan, this book provides in-depth surveys of present-day influences on voters and can serve as a model in quantitative terms for comparative studies of Japanese and western voting behavior."—Choice

"A comprehensive study of the factors that have influenced the behavior of the Japanese electorate over the last three decades . . . of interest to area specialists and comparative theorists alike."—John M. Peek, Journal of Asian Studies

"This is an important book in the continuing expansion of western understandings of Japanese politics. The authors have successfully transferred Converse and Miller's The American Voter model to Japanese politics. . . . A comprehensive treatment of Japanese voting . . . [that is] very useful to all students of Japanese politics and for advanced comparative politics courses."—Ronald J. Hrebenar, Political Science Quarterly

ISBN: 9780300047806
Publication Date: September 25, 1991
518 pages, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
Japanese Democracy

Power, Coordination, and Performance

Bradley M. Richardson

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