chapter  11
19 Pages

Government and the craft of politics

This chapter and the next bring us finally into an area that will seem, superficially at least, very familiar to a Western reader, since Japan’s political and legal systems have in the past century been twice modelled on Western prototypes. As outlined in Chapter 1, the Meiji period witnessed the establishment of a bicameral parliamentary system, influenced by Germany, France and the United Kingdom, and, during the Allied Occupation, this system underwent a thorough, American-style ‘democratisation’ process. The language of politics in Japan is thus easily rendered into English – indeed, the 1947 Constitution was first drafted in English – and Japan plays a recognisable role in international political arenas.