By T. Sakamoto

Why do politicians occasionally make unpopular or contested regulations which can harm their electoral customers? this is often the query Sakamoto attempts to reply to. Political scientists have lengthy claimed that political behaviour should be defined as actors' self-interested goal-seeking behaviour. yet Sakamoto demonstrates that politicians occasionally express behaviour that is going past the slim confines of self-interest and that 'policy legitimacy' is the issue that may preempt or override the forces of self-interest and makes attainable the implementation of contested regulations by utilizing the case of Japan. This cutting edge learn could be of curiosity to scholars of jap politics, legislative reports and of rational selection thought.

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Additional info for Building Policy Legitimacy in Japan: Political Behaviour beyond Rational Choice

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To give the opposition parties a means of explaining their legislative failure to constituent groups, the ruling party also arranges face-saving Legitimacy as a Determinant of Policy Outputs 31 measures, such as providing a chance for them to stage ritualistic protest against its policy and/or policy concessions and compensations. Meanwhile, a failure to engage in consensus building and legitimize a policy will foster opposition unity, since the opposition parties can condemn the ruling party for not subjecting the policy to proper deliberations.

Foreign governments had demanded that Japan boost its economy and trim its trade surpluses by reducing income and corporate taxes and stimulating domestic demand. The foreign request fitted well with the electoral needs of Japanese politicians for an active fiscal policy, and there was little contestation among parties over the need for income tax cuts. The disagreement was, instead, over how to finance them. In the elections for both houses of the Diet in mid-1986, Nakasone’s LDP proposed income and residence tax reductions as The Politics of Consumption Tax 53 campaign promises and made no mention of a new consumption tax.

As a result, Nakasone announced that his administration would not introduce a large-scale indirect tax which the public and LDP members would oppose (Mizuno, 1993, pp. 76–7). Upon receiving the announcement, LDP candidates stressed to voters during the campaign that there would be no new indirect tax (Yomiuri Shimbun, 9 July 1986). The results of the elections were the LDP’s landslide victory. 16 In the upper house, the party won 72 of all the 126 seats up for elections also the largest victory in the house for the LDP.

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