Jun Saito on Japanese Domestic Politics

Jun Saito on Japanese Domestic Politics



Jun Saito is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Yale University, whose research focuses on the Japanese political system.  From 2002-2003 he served in the Japanese House of Representatives representing the Democratic Party of Japan.

In Fall 2009, Japan elected Yukio Hatoyama fo the Democratic Party of Japan as Prime Minister.  This represented the first real change of power in the prime ministership of Japan since 1955. In this interview, conducted on April 27, 2010, Professor Saito discusses the meaning of that election, contextualizes some of the key issues facing Japan today, and provides some insights into the nature of Japanese politics and policy making.

Discussion Questions
1.  Based on this interview, to what extent was the election of Hatoyama a meaningful change?  To what extent does it represent continuity with the previous regime?

2. According to Professor Saito, there are many similarities between the actual policies of the Democratic Party of Japan and the Liberal Democratic Party.  Why does he think so?  Do you agree with his explanation?

3.  Professor Saito equates the political style of the Liberal Democratic Party with that of a mom and pop store, and that of the Democratic Party of Japan as that of a national chain store.  What does he mean by this comparison?  How do you think these different styles influence the way the parties will approach a specific issues such as tax policy or policies designed to stimulate the economy?


Theme,Contemporary Japan; Topic,Government; Topic,International Relations; Type,Podcast; Topic,Politics;
Jun Saito, DPJ, Democratic Party of Japan, LDP, Liberal Democratic Party, politics, elections, Hatoyama, Ozawa, Japanese Diet,