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Twisted Diet: A Failure in Legislating Politics in Japan

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Abstract:

From the election in 2007, Japanese parliamentary politics came into a status called “the Twisted Diet”, in which the majority of two Houses in the Diet were consisted from different parties, and thus almost total deadlock. The author insists that the main reason for such phenomena to occur is not temporal political condition but systematic defect in decision-making rules, especially rules concerning agenda arrangement in the Diet. Investigating the emerging process of such rules and current systems of Japanese parliamentary politics, the author found that every agent acted rationally in their position, finally resulting in total malfunction of the whole political system. The author concludes that the fundamental framework of political process, mainly the Constitution and attaching laws, shall be re-examined for designing workable political process, understood separately from the politics in itself.

Keywords: AGENDA; CONSTITUTION; JAPANESE POLITICS; PARLIAMENTARY POLITICS; REVERSIBILITY; VISCOSITY

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2008

More about this publication?
  • Legisprudence aims at contributing to the improvement of legislation by studying the processes of legislation from the perspective of legal theory. The content of the journal covers legislation in a broad sense. This comprises legislation in both the formal and the material sense (from national and European parliaments, regulation, international law), and alternatives to legislation (covenants, sunset legislation, etc.). It also takes in regulation (pseudo-legislation, codes of behaviour and deontological codes, etc.). The journal is theoretical and reflective. Contributions to the journal make use of an interdisciplinary method in legal theory. Comparative and system transcending approaches are encouraged. Sociological, historical, or economic studies are taken into account to the extent that they are relevant from the perspective of interdisciplinary legal theory. Dogmatic descriptions of positive law are not taken into consideration.
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