Conclusion: Political leadership in Japan
The major finding in this investigation can be summed up in two words – leadership matters. The puzzle guiding this study asked why politicians enact laws against their self-interest. The conventional explanation claims that politicians pass reform in response to the outbreak of scandal. By examining in detail two successful and two failed cases of reform, all of which involve scandal, I show that scandal is a necessary but insufficient part of the explanation. In these cases the difference between success and failure is leadership.