Japanese Politics

Japanese Politics Final Papers

Adhikari, Sadichchha. 2015. Influence from Afar: A Look at Japanese Foreign Aid to Nepal Post-Maoist Insurgency

The Japanese International Cooperation Agency, JICA, is one of the largest donors of bilateral foreign aid with policies directly affecting several regions worldwide. One such regions is Nepal, a small South Asian developing country, who recently underwent a complete government overhaul that led to a Maoist-led government in a newly established federal republic in 2008. After this drastic transformation, JICA ramped up their foreign aid disbursements to several infrastructure-developing sectors of Nepal. This increased foreign aid allocation can be attributed to Japan’s desire for more of a leadership position in East Asia and its inability to do so due to China’s increasing influence in South Asia and Nepal specifically. Additionally, it can also be attributed to Nepal’s increased vulnerability and JICA’s anti-terrorism through infrastructure development goals of 2008. Because of the diverse range of Japan’s foreign aid recipients, this study can be used to predict Japanese aid patterns for other regions.

Jacobs, Jared. 2015. Sumo and Baseball’s Popularity in Japan

In Japan, baseball, a sport of foreign origin, has grown in popularity, while sumo, the Japanese national sport, has been decreasing.  This paper plans to outline the ways in which both modernization and globalization have impacted the popularities of both sumo and baseball within Japan.  Through factors such as changes in health standards, traditions, economic stability, television, and attitudes towards corruption, the popularity of sumo has decreased, while baseball’s popularity has increased.  First this paper will describe the histories of both sports within the nation in order to provide a basis for how the sports have progressed and fluctuated in popularity.  After discussing both sports’ histories, this paper then will lay out the arguments for sumo’s decrease in popularity before discussing the arguments for baseball’s increase in popularity.  After providing the arguments for both sports, the paper will then address what actions sumo should and has taken in order to improve its declining popularity.

Li, Lang Wen Amanda. 2015.  Why and how did Japan’s sex industry continue to operate and even thrive to this day despite increased regulations and restrictions placed on the industry, especially during the postwar period?

Despite the increase in legislation against the sex industry in the postwar period, the industry continues to operate and even thrive to this day. This paper seeks to understand why and how the industry continues to grow despite apparent increases in legal regulation and restrictions. By looking at the different layers that lie beneath Japan’s multi-faceted sex industry, this paper will argue that while there are inherent legal loopholes within the legislation that enables the industry to continue operating and thriving, the permissibility and exploitability of these loopholes are generated by the need to maintain the social and economic status quo by merely appeasing the West and certain sectors of the public through passing legislation, the social and moral tolerance, place, significance and necessity of sexuality and the sex industry in Japan, the economic incentives and forces of supply and demand, as well as the issue of nationalism and the protection of Japan’s people against US foreign troops.


O’Connor, Aniello. 2015. Japan’s militarization: the reactionary and proactive reason for Abe’s fourth arrow

The United States occupied Japan after its World War Two surrender and dismantled the Japanese military that had dominated the continent for centuries. Today, the US continues to be responsible for Japanese security and retains troops on Japanese soil. But, after the Cold War, China has continued to grow economically and militarily causing serious concern amongst the Japanese elite. The Japanese people are split on whether to re-militarize or continue to possess limited capability to defend themselves. Japanese students and populations under thirty are overwhelmingly against the idea of militarism while the aging populous is acceptant of the bills. Prime Minister Abe has spearheaded the campaign for a re-militarization that many believe is unconstitutional. So, why is Japan changing its national security policy now after twenty years of economic stagnation rather than in 2000 after it reached economic superpower status? The paper will not focus on the constitutionality of the matter, but rather the reasons for Japan’s militarization campaign and both sides of the argument.

Zaman, Saarim. 2015. Exploring the Politics of the Yakuza: Looking Beyond the Criminal

Japan’s organized crime syndicates, collectively known as the yakuza, have had longstanding and well-documented ties to Japan’s postwar bureaucratic and political elite. Politicians belonging to the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), Japan’s oldest postwar political party, have frequently associated themselves with yakuza gang members. The 2009 election cycle, consisting of the 2007 House of Councillors and the 2009 House of Representative elections of the Diet, marked a breakdown of these relations, leading to a swap of yakuza allegiances to the opposition, the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ). This paper attempts to tie the LDP’s political failures during the 2009 election cycle to a breakdown of yakuza-LDP relations due to a number of factors. By tracking the trajectory of the yakuza since World War II, through two specific Japanese time periods, the “economic miracle period” that lasted until the 1980s and the “lost two decades” of the 1990s and the 2000s, the yakuza emerge as a quasi-political party, possessing characteristics akin to a political entity attempting to form coalitions with the dominating Japanese parties to pursue specific interests. Hence, the yakuza have a certain degree of sway in Japanese electoral politics, and yakuza backing of a certain political movements could predict possible future outcomes.