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This book offers an empirical and theoretical study of the Koizumi administration, covering such issues as the characteristics of its political style, its domestic and foreign policies, and its larger historical significance. The key questions that guide its approach are: How did the Koizumi administration affect the structural transformation of Japanese politics? And most importantly: Why was he able to change the pattern of Japanese politics? Uchiyama looks at the policy making process; newly created institutional arenas such as the Council on Economic and Fiscal Policy; Koizumi's populist strategy; foreign policy; and neoliberal convictions to find the explanation for his wide public support, and the historical significance of his administration. Finally, the book undertakes a normative evaluation of the merits and demerits of the Koizumi administration and compares them with the Abe and Fukada administrations that came after. The book will be of interest to scholars and students with an interest in comparative politics, administrative reform and contemporary Japan.
Yu Uchiyama is Associate Professor at the University of Tokyo Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Japan.