Forces at work inside and outside Japan have helped to propel the reach of Japanese SNGs beyond the administrative borders of their locality and the sovereign borders of nation, into the international arena. This chapter discusses the domestic arena to contextualize SNGs’ international actions. The introduction of a centralized system of government in the Meiji period firmly restricted the role of Japanese localities in domestic and international arenas. Variations in type, status and functional responsibility only begin to signal the diversity of Japan’s SNGs. Inter-ministerial rivalry is a well-known phenomenon within the Japanese bureaucracy. Various bureaucratic battles indicate that Japan’s international diplomacy is hotly contested ministerial turf and Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) has struggled with an iron-fist to control it. MOFA is the weakest of all the ministries in Japan since it does not have an influential domestic constituency.