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Contemporary Japan

Journal of the German Institute for Japanese Studies Tokyo

Editor-in-Chief: Waldenberger, Franz

Managing Editor: Backhaus, Peter

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Multilevel relations in Japanese political parties at the beginning of the post-war period: Hokkaido as a case study

Juha Saunavaara
Published Online: 2015-06-30 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/cj-2015-0009


The recent political turmoil challenges one to study the function and form of the post-war Japanese political parties. The obvious differences in the spatial and temporal contexts do not change the fact that many of the organizational behavioral patterns that are topical in the analysis of the current situation can be found in the parties that were established during the erratic years following Japan’s defeat. With a focus on intra-party relations and on the multilayered institutional environment in which the political parties operate, this article focuses on Hokkaido, a region which analysts of Japanese political parties have often ignored. While demonstrating (a) the interconnectedness of different spheres in the political system, (b) the varying roles of central party organs in the development of local party branches, and (c) the personal relations prevailing over the official organizational channels, the analysis of the control and granting of autonomy pays special attention to the first gubernatorial elections in Hokkaido. This is because the electoral competitions and the creation of electoral products are recognized as moments when the relations between local branches and central leadership are defined.


近年の政治的混乱は戦後日本の政党の機能とあり方について我々に問いかける。今日の政治状況を分析する際に取り上げられる問題の多くは、時間的空間的背景を異にしてはいても敗戦後の日本の混乱期に確立された政党の行動パターンを継承している。本稿では、日本の政党からはあまり関心を集めることのない、北海道における各党内外の多様な団体・組織間の重層的関わりに焦点を当てる。政治システムの各層の相互の関係性、地方支部発展過程における政党中央部の役割、そして党のオフィシャルな組織経路を超えた個人的つながりについて示しながら、支配力と自律の検証を通して北海道の初代の知事選を主に扱う。これは選挙戦と選挙結果とが地方支部と中央のリーダーシップとの関係性が決定される瞬間であるとの認識に基づいている。 キーワード:マルチレベル関係、政党組織、北海道、選挙

Keywords : multilevel relations; party organization; Hokkaido; elections


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About the article

Published Online: 2015-06-30

Published in Print: 2015-07-01

Citation Information: Contemporary Japan, Volume 27, Issue 2, Pages 149–168, ISSN (Online) 1869-2737, ISSN (Print) 1869-2729, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/cj-2015-0009.

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© 2015. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 License. BY-NC-ND 3.0

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