chapter  13
20 Pages

Anarchist Communism and Leadership: the case of Iwasa Sakutarō

This chapter explores the extent of prime ministerial leadership in post-war Japanese foreign policy. The concept of leadership is vague and elusive and the analysis is based on an interpretation of leadership in terms of two roles that are enacted by the Japanese premier, namely his role as a decision-maker and that of national spokesman, two roles that are established in constitutional provisions. The premier's role as decision-maker is constrained by factors operating at different levels. The prime minister has most often found that the benefits of strong leadership in domestic policy matters are outweighed by the costs of such a position. A factor constraining the Prime Ministers role as national spokesman is the traditional world view which has lingered far into the post-war period according to which Japan is seen as being a mere pawn in international politics. It has to adapt as best as it can to the wheeling's and dealings of mightier international actors.