The chapter provides an overview of the historical development of politics as a profession from the time of Japan's opening to the West until today. It looks at the polity dimension of Japanese politics and discusses the political class under four aspects: size, scope, political recruitment, and political careers. It addresses specific features of the Japanese political class such as the relatively little importance of political parties for recruitment, the comparatively high percentage of hereditary seats in the parliament, the strong position of the bureaucracy, the great influence of advisory bodies, and the frequent occurrence of economic scandals.
Keywords: corruption; factionalism; Japan; Meiji restoration; ministry bureaucrats; oligarchs; party competition; political class; shingikai
Chapter. 6974 words.
Subjects: Comparative Politics
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