THE CRISIS OF DEMOCRACY: REPORT ON THE GOVERNABILITY OF DEMOCRACIES TO THE TRILATERAL COMMISSION
CHAPTER 4: JAPAN
There is no absolute governability or ungovernability. Governability is always a function of tasks, both imposed from the outside and generated from the inside, and of capabilities, of both the elite and the masses.
Although there seems to be no impending external threat of military aggression to Japan, there exist uncertainties of a military nature which, if they should be actualized, would impose enormous strains on Japanese leaders. One is the instability of the Korean situation and possible escalating confrontation between the Republic of Korea and the People's Democratic Republic of Korea. Another is the possibility of Sino-Soviet military confrontation. In both cases, if the conflicts should escalate enough, they would cause worldwide repercussions, and the United States, at least, would inevitably be involved in them. If, however, the escalation should remain below certain limits and could be regarded as a local problem, it is possible that particularly strong pressures to force Japanese decision-makers to make difficult policy decisions would be generated from both sides' of the conflict. The former, the Korean problem, has a special significance for the problem of the internal governability of Japan.
Apart from such critical, and hopefully, improbable cases, there are two external factors which beset Japan and create tasks for the Japanese leadership. One is the well-known international dependency and vulnerability of the Japanese economy in terms of resources needed not only for industry but also for feeding the Japanese people. According to often-cited figures, Japan's ratio of dependency on overseas resources is: almost 100 percent in oil; 85 percent in total energy supply; 100 percent in aluminum; and 95 percent for iron ore (1970 level). Of Japan's total food supply, 23 percent comes from abroad, and among vital foodstuffs, 92 percent of the wheat and 96 percent of the soybeans consumed in Japan in 1971 came from abroad. In comparison with the equivalent figures for the United States, these figures are impressive enough to show Japan's international dependency in the acquisition of resources.
Japan's dependency is, however, of the same level as that of many West European societies. What distinguishes Japan from West European societies is the second external factor. Japan stands alone in its region with no equal partner for joint action, which would share common interests due to a similar stage of industrial development, combined with the same degree of commitment to principles of political democracy. Of course, in spite of the European Community, West European countries are far from achieving complete accord and being able to take united action to cope with their difficulties. And West European countries and the European Community as a whole always have to take into consideration the moves of other regions—those of the Soviet bloc, the Arab countries, and all other Third World countries. As the most economically advanced country in Asia and because of the historical backgrounds of Japan and the countries of Asia, the Japanese elite and masses are torn between a feeling of belonging to Asia and a feeling of isolation from Asia, with an orientation to the United States and West Europe.  On the other hand, the Asian countries are also ambivalent toward Japan. The Japanese, including those in other Asian countries, are expected to perform a positive role because they are Asians; at the same time they are often severely criticized for certain behavior which would be permitted for Europeans or Americans. This delicate position of Japan in the region can be made to serve as an asset linking the other Asian countries with advanced economies and those advanced economies with developing economies in the region. On the other hand, it could become a liability which could confuse Japan's policy choices and aggravate the relationship between developing countries and economically advanced countries.
(a) Consolidation of postwar democracy. In discussing the governability of democracy in Japan, the place to start is with the reforms after World War II and the 1947 Constitution of Japan, which is the key political institution of postwar Japanese democracy. It has been argued that the Japanese Constitution of 1947 was prepared under the U.S. occupation. The draft was written by the staff of SCAP (Supreme Commander of Allied Powers) and General Douglas MacArthur, and handed to the Japanese government with strong pressure in early 1947.
However, in spite of apparent record of such imposition or implantation by the Allied—and actually American occupation forces, and although there has been a tenacious movement by rightists both outside and inside the Liberal Democratic party to abolish this "given Constitution'" and to make an "autonomous" constitution, the 1947 Constitution has been in operation for thirty years and will be kept intact for the foreseeable future, including its unique Article 9 which forbids Japan to wage war as a nation and to maintain armed forces. It is a miracle of modern history and is a key to understanding and predicting Japanese society and politics.
The miracle occurred for three good reasons.  In the first place, the draft Constitution prepared by SCAP was not made in a void. It had many ideas in common with a draft constitution prepared by the Japanese liberals at that time. Besides the Constitution itself, many postwar reforms performed under the American occupation were congruent with (or some steps in advance of) the proposals made by the liberals and even by the enlightened bureaucrats either then or even in prewar days. Thus, many reforms made during the U.S. occupation helped to release and encourage "reform potentials" which had already accumulated in Japan during World War II. Second, a positive role was played by the opposition—especially that of the Japan Socialist party in the period of 1952-1955, just after the end of occupation in 1952. The Conservatives, at that time consisting of the Japan Liberal party and the Japan Democratic party, wanted to revise the "excessive" reforms made under the occupation and campaigned for rewriting the whole Constitution. The key parts of the Constitution which the Conservatives wanted in common to rewrite were those on the status of the Emperor, Article 9, and those concerning the family system. Extreme conservatives wanted more general deliberalization concerning the rights of labor unions, freedom of speech and association, and so on. If their attempts had been successful, what consequences would have followed for Japanese society and politics? Since this is just a matter of sheer conjecture, it is open to various arguments. My argument, however, is this: The consequence would have been less stability in Japanese politics and the accumulation of more frustration and alienation among more-educated people and also among younger people in Japanese society. A Japan with recognized armed forces but with more domestic political confrontation and more accumulation of frustration among the populace, and possibly with repeated attempts at constitutional revision in both radical and reactionary directions, would have been possible. As it was, the Socialists, who at that time were divided between the right-wing Socialists and the left-wing Socialists but who both agreed to preserve the 1947 Constitution, succeeded in winning one-third of both Houses of the Diet in elections in the early 1950s and blocked the Conservatives' attempt to revise the Constitution, which required the approval of two-thirds of the Diet. The legacy of the Constitutional dispute in this period still remains in the usual way of thinking of the 1947 Constitution as one package, that is, thinking based on an either-or way so that no part of the Constitution can be revised without rewriting the whole. Third, the mainstream of the Conservatives—the Liberal Democratic party—is presently indifferent about this matter and does not want to take the trouble to confront the Socialists and the Komei party. Behind the Conservative attitude not to take the trouble to alter the 1947 Constitution is another factor which has contributed to the consolidation of that Constitution. In the process of economic growth in the late 1950s and throughout the 1960s, with a number of concomitant social changes, the 1947 Constitution and most of the postwar reforms became necessary to the operation of the Japanese economy and society. The issues raised by the Conservatives, especially by the rightist wing of them, against the 1947 Constitution became obsolete. For example, the 1947 Constitution and the reform of the family code assured the independence of family members. Younger people, who were supposed to be under the control of the family head before the reforms, were given legal freedom from the family by the postwar reforms and actually received economic freedom because of the labor shortage and rise of wages. From the viewpoint of industry, also, voluntary mobility of younger people irrespective of the assent of the family head was welcome. To the expanding, more-educated population, which has contributed to the labor force with higher quality, the idea and stipulation of the status of the Emperor as a symbol of the state in the 1947 Constitution has been more acceptable than either the idea of the Emperor as God in prewar days or the policy of the Conservatives, that the Emperor should have more substantial power. Labor unions recognized and protected by the 1947 Constitution, with their peculiarly Japanese form of "enterprise unions," were found to be no obstacle to technological innovation and contributed to the maintenance of commitment of the workers to the company.
Thus, the mainstream of the Liberal Democratic party and the mainstream of Japanese economic circles have no serious intention of revising the 1947 Constitution now or in the near future. According to opinion polls, the majority of the public also supports the 1947 Constitution. In addition, the Socialists and the Komei party are firmly committed to it. The Japan Communist party has also declared its commitment to defend the present Constitution, at least in the near future, although at the same time it does not hide its view that at some future time the Constitution should be rewritten in more socialistic style, a point which the Komei party has been fiercely attacking.
Thus, in comparison with the German Weimar Republic of 1919-33 Japanese postwar democracy has a far firmer basis. A doubt remains about whether or not the Japanese people have accepted the postwar democratic system primarily because of Japan's economic prosperity in the postwar period. However, even if this is so, the prewar system offers no competing attraction, especially to the younger generation. There is little possibility of a powerful revival of prewar Japanese militarism or political traditionalism in the future. Rather, the problem is how, within the 1947 Constitution, Japan can handle the status of Japanese Self Defense Forces, which have been regarded by the Socialist and the Communist parties as unconstitutional on one hand, and on the other, have accumulated capability and de facto legitimacy during their existence and development over twenty years under the LDP government.
(b) The capability of the Liberal Democratic party. The Japanese Conservatives, particularly the Liberal Democratic party since its formation in 1955, have ruled Japan throughout the postwar period, except for the short and unsuccessful coalition of the Socialist and Democratic parties in 1947-48. The capability of the LDP is open to partisan disputes. LDP people and ardent-supporters of the LDP can say that under the rule of the LDP's majority for twenty years, Japan's economic growth and its peaceful existence with other nations are the proofs of the LDP's high capability. The award of the 1974 Nobel Peace Prize to ex-Prime Minister Eisaku Sato seems to back up such an argument. But the opposition parties have naturally been critical of the LDP's capability and actually expressed astonishment and criticism of the award of the Nobel Peace Prize to Sato. Apart from such partisan disputes, two observations can be made. First, the LDP's rule has carried with it both merits and demerits— in other words, functions and dysfunctions. Second, the social and cultural bases which have hitherto supported the functional side of the LDP have been declining. Thus, the changing tides of Japanese society seem to be less congruent with, or more beyond the adaptability of the LDP than before.
As for the LDP's merits, I can cite three points. First, the close coordination between the LDP, the higher elite corps of the bureaucracy, and the economic elite (which have been called "Japan Incorporated" since Time magazine's story of May 10, 1971, invented the term), certainly contributed to Japan's economic growth and will also function positively in future times of economic crisis through skillful "consensus economy." Certainly the LDP's capability for policy formation is high in the sense that it is fused with the bureaucratic elite. This group consists of ex-high-level bureaucrats, who became either LDP parliamentary members or top executives of public and private corporations after their relatively early retirement (around the ages of fifty to fifty five); of active senior bureaucrats; and of successive generations of successful candidates in the higher civil service examination. Ex-high-level bureaucrats as LDP politicians contribute their knowledge and experiences accumulated during their bureaucratic careers to the formation of policies by the party. They can also maintain communication with their ex-colleagues in public and-private corporations and, moreover, may utilize the cooperation and assistance of their successors on active duty in the bureaucracy.
Second, the LDP has built up skillful vote-getting machines in its koenkai (associations supporting individual politicians), through which various demands—personal, regional, and occupational—of the vast populace have been absorbed and satisfied. All LDP Diet members maintain their koenkai,  which often comprise tens of thousands of "members" who rarely pay membership dues. Almost all the expenses to maintain such koenkai are paid by the LDP politicians themselves, who therefore always badly need money. LDP politicians are very responsive to their koenkai clients, especially to the key persons in them, who are often the local influential persons in agricultural associations or small- and medium-sized trade associations. Therefore, in spite of its close coordination with big businesses and its financial dependency on them, the LDP has not ignored the interests of local leaders in agriculture, fisheries, small- and medium-sized commerce, and manufacturing. The LDP at the grass roots level has been loosely structured and has consisted of federations of hundreds of small parties. Therefore, it has been able to absorb a variety of interests and demands. As is well known, however, mainly because of the distribution of money, LDP politicians are "aggregated" into several factions, and eventually, the formation of LDP policy is made in close contact with the bureaucracy and big businesses. Here, in a sense, there is a beautiful pattern of wide interest articulation through individual LDP members and their koenkai, with interest aggregation through factions, and eventual agreement by the triumvirate of big business, bureaucracy, and the LDP.
Third, although the LDP has been self-identified as a conservative party and many members of it have expressed nostalgia for a number of aspects of the prewar system from time to time, and although a close tie with the United States has been the LDP's official line on foreign policy, still LDP Diet members have enjoyed a wide range of freedom to express divergent policy views and even behavior concerning both domestic and foreign policies. In the sphere of foreign policy, members of the Asian and African Problem Study Group had visited the People's Republic of China a number of times before Tanaka's visit to China, and also have been keeping in contact with the People's Democratic Republic of Korea. However, the LDP still has strong Taiwan supporters and also a Korean lobby, composed of those who keep close ties with the Republic of Korea. In the sphere of domestic policy, a fairly wide divergence of opinions exists among LDP politicians. This ideological looseness and vagueness of the LDP is due to the independence of LDP politicians in vote-getting and to the nonideological formation of factions within the LDP, and these characteristics have, in their turn, contributed to neutralizing the party image against the attack from the opposition parties that the LDP is a reactionary party. These characteristics have, moreover, given the LDP wider channels of contact and assets to be utilized in case of policy change.
As has been pointed out, all three of these "merits," on the other hand, carry demerits and involve dysfunctions. On the first, close contact and skillful coordination between the groups in the triumvirate has meant their disproportional predominance in policy formation. Powers to countervail and check that triumvirate have been disproportionally weak. As for the second mechanism, the koenkai which have made the LDP capable of absorbing various interests and demands, since the supporting groups of LDP are not distributed equally in terms of region, occupation, and generation, unavoidably some interests are systematically respected and others are ignored. And, continuation of LDP rule for nearly twenty years has generated a sense of alienation from power and a feeling of ill-treatment in certain sectors of society. To supporters of the opposition parties, not only LDP rule, but also the whole period of Japanese history under LDP rule, is subject to criticism. It has been their rule, and their period, not ours, from this perspective. This kind of feeling of alienation was clearly expressed when ex-Prime Minister Eisaku Sato was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Third, concerning the looseness of ideological control within the LDP, there is the widely held fear of unpredictability of LDP behavior. Some policies are formed on the basis of factional fights or compromise within the LDP, and many others are made upon consultation with, or according to the advice of, bureaucratic and business circles. Concerning the former policies, especially from the viewpoints of opposition parties, the LDP is a party which can suddenly propose ultraconservative, even rightist proposals. Partly due to the result of these features of LDP rule, and partly due to the nature of the opposition parties—especially the Japan Socialist party which has been tightly committed to Marxist doctrine—a lack of trust between governing party and opposition parties has been conspicuous. And also, those intellectuals supporting the opposition parties are more numerous and vocal in their criticisms of the LDP than expected, given the stability and achievements of LDP rule.
Another source of vulnerability of the LDP is an ethical one concerning its way of procuring and spending political funds. All LDP politicians have to constantly procure and spend money in order to maintain their own koenkai. The minimum necessary expenditure of LDP Diet Members is said to be 3 million yen (10,000 U.S. dollars) per month in an off-election period. They raise part of this money themselves, and part comes from their faction leaders. Faction leaders have to take care of the funds of their followers. And it has been a well-known fact that the main part of these political funds is given by business corporations. The points are: Are huge sums of political donations by business corporations really pure and voluntary contributions, or is this implicit bribery? And is it fair political competition that the LDP and LDP factions combined are spending political funds five times larger than the total political funds spent by all four opposition parties together according to an official report released by the government?  Moreover, it is widely believed that the actual total of political spending by the LDP is more than this official record.
It is a well-known fact that the LDP's share of the votes in national elections has been gradually declining. Although in the case of the House of Representatives the LDP still maintained a 46.8 percent share of the votes in the 1972 general election, the LDP share fell below 40 percent (39.5 percent) in the Prefectural Constituency of the election of the House of Councillors in 1974. Partly due to the overrepresentation of the rural districts in the Diet and partly due to the split of the opposition parties, the LDP still succeeds in getting a majority of the seats in the Houses (271 out of 491 in the House of Representatives, and 126 out of 252 in the House of Councillors). The LDP's majority is slim in the House of Councillors, however, and the LDP lacks sufficient majority legitimacy even in the House of Representatives due to rural overrepresentation and disproportional spending of political funds.
(c) Quality of the Japanese bureaucracy. Although it depends on the definition of governability, in any understanding of governability as a synthetic capability relating the governing and the governed, the quality of bureaucracy, as the governing framework or as an intermediary between the governing and the governed or as an autonomous third force, has special significance. In this respect, the Japanese bureaucracy seems to deserve some attention. Historically, the Japanese bureaucracy was formed after the Prussian model, legacies of which remain even today in formalistic legalism and alleged neutralism which does not, however, prevent the high bureaucrats from committing themselves to partisan stands of the governing party, as representing the interest of the state. Many high-level bureaucrats, after retirement, have joined the LDP and, after their successful election, have become key figures in the governing party. The bureaucrats on duty are, however, fairly autonomous under the control of administrative vice-ministers, and the elite bureaucratic corps has a high degree of esprit de corps, similar to the British Civil Service. During the recent period of economic growth, mainly in the Ministries of Finance and of International Trade and Industry, and in the Economic Planning Agency, technocrats, consisting primarily of economic specialists, have been gaining power, and in this predominance of technocrats, Japanese bureaucracy can be compared with the French bureaucracy.
Thus, the capability of Japanese bureaucracy can be evaluated as rather high. The members of the elite bureaucratic corps, consisting of those who passed the higher civil service examination—whose number is still limited to 400 or so annually in this age of expansion of higher education with 1.5 million university students, are really elite both in terms of their initial caliber and the opportunities for training and accumulation of administrative experience given to them during their careers. This elite bureaucratic corps of about 10,000 is still prepared today to work twenty-four hours per day and seven days a week if necessary, because of its privileged position of good care and faster promotion and the prevailing ethos of diligence and self-sacrifice in the elite.
There are, however, dysfunctions and vulnerability in the Japanese bureaucracy. The top level of the Japanese bureaucratic elite corps and alumni from this group have been too fused with the LDP. Furthermore, with the expansion of higher education, a system designed to recruit only 400 or so per year to the elite bureaucratic corps cannot maintain itself forever. Actually, many university graduates are taking examinations for middle civil service positions which have been intended for high school or junior college graduates. The point is that in such a situation it will become difficult to give special favor to those who passed higher civil service examinations and to discriminate against other members of the bureaucracy who are now also university graduates. In the near future the notion and practice of the elite bureaucratic corps will be forced to give way to more egalitarian, less privileged forms. Local governments have been doing this already. For instance, the Tokyo metropolitan government has been recruiting several hundred university graduates on an equal basis. In addition it has been an established practice for Japanese ministries to recruit their own personnel, both elite and non-elite, as the personnel of their own ministries only. The aim has been to build up the ministry's own bureaucracy of specialists on matters over which that ministry presides and to build up strong solidarity in the elite bureaucratic corps within a particular ministry. This practice has brought with it the pattern of ministerial bureaucrats acting to promote the interests of their clienteles and ardently promoting interests and demands within their jurisdictions even in dispute with the governing party, thus serving as guardians of interests which might be neglected by the governing party. But the cost paid for this is bureaucratic sectionalism, and there is no bureau to take care of overall policy. To be sure there are the Prime Minister's office and the Cabinet Secretariat, which are supposed to perform this function, but these bureaucrats come from various ministries, serve for a couple of years, and go back to their home ministries; therefore, they are likely to remain committed to the particular interests of their home ministries.
(d) The economy. As is well known, Japanese economic growth during the two decades before the oil crisis of October 1973 was amazing, continuously maintaining an annual growth rate over 10%. GNP and also per capita income doubled every five years. Even considering the rise of commodity prices, real wages still nearly doubled between 1960 and 1972.  Japan's GNP is larger than that of any West European country, and its per capita income or wage is roughly equal with, or even slightly more than, that of Britain or France, according to the statistics. With this growth of GNP and increase of per capita income and wages, government revenue and spending have expanded enormously. From 1965 to 1973, for instance, the government budget grew from 3,658 billion yen to 14, 284 billion yen, that is, over three times.  In other words, so far, with the growth of the Japanese economy, the government has acquired tremendous amounts of goods and services which it can dispose, and this has made it possible for the Japanese government to distribute goods and services in response to the increased demands of the populace. Under these circumstances, government has been able to avoid serious priority problems.
Again, as is well known, since the successive revaluation of the yen, the oil crisis and the subsequent jump of oil prices, the picture has been changing rapidly. The growth rate for fiscal year 1973 (April 1973 to March 1974) dropped sharply to 5.4 percent, and that for the 1974 fiscal year was eventually found to be minus (—1.8 percent). According to the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI), the expected growth rate for 1975 is 2 percent. Although somewhat slowed, the rise of consumer prices as of March 1975 in comparison with the previous year was still 13 percent. The government target is to lower the rise of consumer prices to a single digit by the end of 1975. In this economic situation, the national government could still increase its budget to 17,180 billion yen in the 1974 fiscal year and 21,280 billion yen in fiscal year 1975, without creating serious deficits and increasing the rate of inflation, but local governments now face serious deficits in their budgets. It is expected that the national government too will face a tighter financial situation and priority problems in budget-making for next fiscal year, beginning in April 1976.
As for the longer economic perspective, the government defines the period from 1974 to 1976 as an adjustment period from rapid economic growth to stable economic growth or a "less accelerated" economy, as it is called. After 1976, the MITI is expecting an annual economic growth rate of about 7 percent. If so, this moderate growth can bring with it some leeway for priority problems, but that leeway will be far more restricted in comparison with previous years of more than 10 percent growth of the economy.
(e) Mass media. Development of mass media in Japan is quite conspicuous. The total number of copies of newspapers issued daily is 56 million copies, which is second only to that of the United States (63 million copies). The estimated number of television sets currently in use is 48 million, and there are five nationwide television networks—one is the publicly operated NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation) and the other four are privately owned (NTV, TBS, Fuji, and NET).  Besides the press and TV, the plethora of magazines is a characteristic of the Japanese mass media scene. In particular, the variety of weekly magazines with huge circulations (about fifty different weekly magazines are selling eight million copies per month) is striking.
What is the relevance of the Japanese mass media to the governability of Japanese democracy? Under the postwar democracy, there has been no governmental censorship except during the occupation period, and all the major newspapers and TV networks have been avowed guardians of democracy. Their quality is not bad, especially the five major newspapers with nationwide circulation (Asahi, Mainichi, Yomiuri, Sankei, and Nihon Keizai), which are proud of being quality newspapers with circulations of several million and which compete with each other in terms of their excellence.
Thus we can say that the Japanese mass media as a whole are a positive factor in the maintenance and operation of Japanese democracy. However, the Japanese mass media have several characteristics peculiar to Japan, which function as a kind of constraint, within which Japanese democracy has to operate and which might make Japanese democracy vulnerable under possible changed conditions.
First, as has often been pointed out, Japanese newspapers are highly standardized, in the sense that they tend to refrain from presenting partisan opinion, and allocate their space in a quite similar way to coverage of everything from on-the-street human interest stories to highbrow academic articles.
Second, alongside their nonpartisanship, another established characteristic of Japanese newspapers is what is called their "opposition spirit," which means critical of the government, but within the limits of nonpartisanship. The result is that nonpartisan intellectual radicalism is treated rather favorably in the newspapers and a tone of moral sensationalism colors the reports and articles in newspapers.
In the case of broadcasting, NHK clings more strictly to the principle of nonpartisanship and to a less critical spirit than the newspapers. Other TV networks are more and more tied to particular major newspapers, and show similar characteristics to these newspapers in their reporting. However, sensationalism is more obvious in several weekly magazines, such as Shukan-Post, Shukan-Gendai and, although in a rather conservative tone, Shukan-Shincho, each of which sells over 500,000 copies every week.
Those characteristics of Japanese mass media can have both positive and negative functions for the governability of Japanese democracy. The newspapers' and NHK's nonpartisanship is good in preventing manipulation by the powerful mass media. Sensationalism has helped to arouse the attention of the public to politics from issue to issue as they arise. Negative functions, however, also follow from these characteristics. Nonpartisanship of the mass media can bring with it the loss of the function of stimulating political discussion, and the critical spirit and moral sensationalism can obstruct necessary mobilization of support by the government and encourage political distrust of the government.
(f) Education. Expansion of higher education in Japan has been amazing during the past decade. The percentage of those enrolling in universities and colleges among the eligible age group has doubled during the decade and reached 30 percent in 1974. Furthermore, it is expected that his trend will continue and that enrollment will reach 40 percent by 1980. From an educational standpoint, the Japanese university system has a number of problems to be solved,  but only the political relevance of this expansion of higher education will be considered here.
So far, university expansion has had relatively little direct impact on politics. Of course, there has been sporadic campus unrest, emergence of a variety of radical groups recruited from university students, and participation of a number of students in antipollution movements. Also, the Japan Communist Party has maintained its influence on student movements through its Democratic Youth League, and the League's members are quite active in assisting JCP's election campaigns. However, a majority of the 1.5 million Japanese university students and the couple millions of recent graduates have been relatively calm politically. One of the reasons for this calm has been the favorable situation of the job market for rapidly expanding numbers of university graduates. The decade has witnessed an enormous expansion of tertiary industries and of professional, technical, and clerical jobs, which have absorbed a couple million university graduates. The shortage of young blue-collar workers resulted in the improvement of the wages of not only young blue-collar workers but also of young white-collar workers. In spite of an ongoing change of values in the younger generation, organizational disciplines regulating the new recruits in business or bureaucracy have persisted and have been successful in making them adapt to organizational norms. Moreover, so far the expansion of higher education has coincided with the expansion of local governmental activities and personnel. The percentage of university graduates among newly recruited civil servants on the local government level has increased rapidly, which has certainly contributed to upgrading the quality of the local civil service.
Another aspect of higher education has been the increase of social science specialists in the universities, some of whom have begun to keep closer contact with governmental policy-making than previous Japanese university professors. In the fields of econometrics, social engineering, and regional planning a number of specialists are giving more advice and keeping close contact with the government. On the other hand, expansion of higher education has also brought with it an increasing number of intellectual oppositionists. In Japan's case, however, intellectual opposition has a long tradition. What is new is the emergence of policy-oriented fields of social science and policy-oriented intellectuals prepared to give advice to government.
The crucial question, however, is whether the Japanese economy can continue to offer suitable jobs to university graduates who constitute over 30 percent or even 40 percent of the corresponding age group. And another crucial question is the cost and quality of higher education. Government has been increasing the appropriation of public funds to assist private universities. In the expected tight budgetary situation, whether government can and should expand such assistance is questionable.
(g) Labor unions. In postwar Japanese democracy, labor unions have established their recognized position firmly. Also, Japanese labor unions with their form of "enterprise union"—meaning that unions have been organized corresponding to the scope of each company, embracing all employees in that company—have had no essential objection to the introduction of technological innovations so long as the company has guaranteed favorable treatment and offered retraining to those who were transferred to new jobs in the company, unlike British unions based on a particular job or craft. In spite of their basic form of "enterprise union," Japanese labor unions have succeeded in building up federations of unions within the same kind of industries, and eventually national federations of labor unions. (Sohyo and Domei are two big national federations of labor unions which have been exercising fairly strong influence through their jointly scheduled plan of wage-raise demands [the so-called "spring struggle"] and electoral campaigning in support of the opposition parties. Sohyo supports the Socialists and Domei supports the Democratic Socialists.)
Present-day democracy cannot exist without the recognition of, and support from, labor unions. Actually, the Japanese labor unions, especially the two big national federations, have been the avowed guardians of postwar democracy, although in different senses and directions. Sohyo has been in close cooperation with the Socialists, not completely unfavorable to the Communists, and definitely against the LDP. Domei has been supporting more moderate Democratic Socialists. While definitely against the Communists, it has been prepared to cooperate with the LDP and LDP government upon certain conditions. The roles to be played by labor unions in a democracy, however, involve a number of delicate situations. In Japan's case, even under the LDP government which has had no labor union to support it, government cannot ignore labor unions in labor administration and has had representatives of Sohyo and Domei on a number of Deliberation Councils on labor administration and also on Labor Relations Committees. But essentially, the LDP has been on the side of business and more concerned with the interests of its supporters—farmers, small and medium-size manufacturers, and all other miscellaneous people organized into their own koenkai. One might argue that it has been rather a good balance since organized labor has had powerful say even if it has not been respected by the LDP. The opposite argument is that organized labor should have been respected more in order to counterbalance the influence of big business on LDP governments. Some people argue that organized labor has been representing not only the interests of its members but also all those who have been unfavorably treated under LDP governments. The third view, which has been emerging recently, does not trust either LDP governments or labor unions. It insists that since labor unions represent the interests of only a fraction of the total population (only about 30 percent of the employed are organized into labor unions) and since the two national federations represent an even smaller fraction (Sohyo, with its 4 million membership, organizes 10 percent; and Domei, with its 2.5 million membership, 7 percent of the total employed), the interests of ordinary citizens should be respected more, that is, emerging consumers' movements and various citizens' movements should be respected more than, or at least alongside, organized labor in order to increase the responsiveness and equity of Japanese democracy.
Since values determine the way people think and act, it is important to see how changing values, which are most conspicuously observable in the younger generation and are expected to accumulate in years to come, will affect the governability of Japanese democracy.
(a) The 1947 Constitution as a package as the key political belief. All the survey data collected in recent years reinforce the point that there is no sign of weakening of the support for the 1947 Constitution as a whole. On the contrary, younger and more-educated people tend to support more strongly the 1947 Constitution as a whole, including its Article 9 forbidding Japan to wage a war and to have armed forces for that purpose.  Therefore, the 1947 Constitution has become a given.
One argument against the Constitution is that the Japanese "warlike" national character will not change so easily; therefore, if international situations slightly change, the Japanese will easily change their minds and discard the 1947 Constitution, especially its Article 9. But this kind of argument, which is often found among overseas Chinese scholars, is highly improbable. Another argument stresses that if some grave change should occur in international relations, in other words if some real threat of aggression to Japan by some foreign powers should occur, the Japanese "mood" would change rapidly to support rearmament and consequently a revision of the 1947 Constitution. The possibility certainly exists, but this argument seems to be based on assumptions of low probability.
At the same time, because of the recent activities of the Japanese Red Army abroad, there are continued possibilities that minority radicals will resort to individual or small group terrorism both abroad and at home. These incidents are not the expression of general bellicosity of the Japanese people, but the expression of New Left minority radicals, also widely found in North America and West European countries, and of Japanese ignorance of the Arabs and the lack of a connection between Japanese radicalism and Jewish intellectuals, such as is found in North America or Western Europe.
It is undeniable that the radical minorities on the far left will continue to commit terrorism abroad in supporting the Arabs (or, precisely, being utilized by the Arabs) and within Japan by bombing the offices of such companies as the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Company or the Mitsui Bussan Company. The ultrarightists, too, will be able to recruit a small number of new members constantly from the youth both in and outside universities, and they might succeed in political terrorism in the future too, such as the assassination of the Socialists' Chairman Inejiro Asanuma, which occurred in 1960. As a whole, however, the Japanese younger generations have the political beliefs congruent with, and definitely supporting, the 1947 Constitution.
(b) Emergence of "participation" and "protest" motivations and movements. An ongoing change of political beliefs is occurring, which is not incompatible with the beliefs in the 1947 Constitution, but is not identical with it, and which will exercise a far-reaching influence on the future of Japanese democracy. It is a change from submissiveness to authority to active protest and demands for participation, that is, from "subject" political culture to "participatory" political culture. There are excellent data which show this change. (Table 1).
Two comments are specially warranted on this table. When the first survey was conducted in 1953, a majority of the Japanese over twenty years old were prepared to leave things to competent politicians, if such were available. In other words, at that time, the majority of the masses were prepared to obey a competent politician; therefore, the governability problem was simply a problem of the politicians—that is, whether such competent politicians were available or not. During the period of economic growth, people have become more self-assertive and have come to dislike leaving things even to competent politicians. Then, the governability problem becomes not only the problem of the competence of the governing, but the problem of both the governing and the governed.
Other transnational data show the existence of the phenomena of increasing demands for participation in Japan similar to those in West European and North American countries. Respondents in a poll were asked to choose two most important values from "law and order," "encouragement of more participation in vital political decisions," "restraint of the rise of prices," and "freedom of speech," values which were used in Professor Ronald Inglehart's six West European surveys.  Japanese respondents reacted in the following way. According to the marginal distribution, "price restraint" was the first choice (70.4 percent), and the others followed with "law and order" (45.3 percent), "participation" (35.1 percent), and "freedom of speech" (13.8 percent). The age and educational differences, however, were conspicuous. Among younger people in their twenties and those with university education, the choice of "participation" surpassed that of "law and order" and gained the second ranking after "price restraint." In combinations of two values, the combination of "participation and free speech," which Professor Inglehart assumed to be the pure type of "postindustrial value," was less popular in Japan than in West European countries. Japanese responses, however, were more concentrated in the intermediary type of "prices and participation." (Tables 2 and 3.) And again, the younger and the more-educated clearly show their preference for the value of participation. (Among those in their twenties, about 15 percent prefer the combination of "participation and free speech," and, if coupled with "participation and prices," they are the top choice.)
The heightening of participatory motivation, however, is often related to increasing distrust of institutionalized channels of participation—that is, elections and political parties. Thus, the other side of the coin is the decline of political parties and rise of various voluntary citizens' and residents' movements which dislike and refuse to follow the leadership of any political party and prefer protests instead of institutionalized participation. Respondents in a recent nationwide survey  were asked the question "which would you prefer about the future of Japanese party politics—one, to back up the political party which can be relied on; two, to promote citizens' or residents' movements as they become necessary; three, I have nothing to do with political parties or politics at all?" The responses divided as follows: 57.0 percent chose the first response, 17.3 percent the second, and 5.3 percent the third. The distribution is not so bad from the viewpoint of political parties. Again, however, the younger (among those in their twenties, 22.4 percent prefer citizens' movements to parties and 6.5 percent are totally against politics) and the more-educated (23.1 percent of the university graduates prefer citizens' movements rather than political parties) have less trust in institutional channels of participation and are turning more to uninstitutional, protest-oriented movements.
Protest-oriented movements have been spreading beyond the younger and more-educated people and beyond urban and industrial areas to older, less-educated people and to local, agricultural, and fishery areas. The Mutsu, the first Japanese nuclear-powered test ship, drifted for fifty-four days because of fierce protest actions of the fishermen of the bay in which the base for that ship was located. There were complicated reasons for this protest. Fear of nuclear accidents and consequent possible contamination was certainly one of the reasons. However, the antipathy of the fishermen, living in the "periphery" and ill-treated by the "center" for a long time, against the government was reported to be another reason. The point of the drifting incident of the Mutsu was that, whatever the reasons for the protest were, even the fishermen in remote local areas were prepared to organize protest movements when they felt the government was doing them an injustice. Also, farmers are no longer silent and obedient to the government whenever they feel they are treated unjustly.
If "governability" involves the capacity of the government to impose policies or plans unilaterally which will affect the living of the citizens concerned, certainly such governability in Japan has decreased. The Japanese government, however, because of its long tradition of Obrigkeit-staat, often violates the usual standard of democracy in its behavior vis-a-vis citizens. In order to talk about the governability of democracy in the Japanese case, sometimes democracy should still be emphasized at the cost of governability. Moreover, the cost can be partly covered by learning and efforts on the side of bureaucrats to be more careful and humane in doing their business. Fortunately, Japanese bureaucrats—both national and local—nowadays have such a learning capacity. Another factor which has worked so far in recent years is the financial ability of government to afford additional spending in order to appease the protest movements by compensating the alleged damage or promising costly changes of plans. It is certainly an easy solution, avoiding the priority problem, which will become difficult in the approaching tighter governmental budget situation.
In a society such as Japan after World War II, where indoctrination from above with the threat of punishment was nonexistent, where any kind of religious inhibitions after the separation of the Shinto from the state were virtually nonexistent, and where social changes, such as urbanization, rise of income, and change of consumption styles due to the rapid economic changes, were so rapid, it would be natural to expect that every aspect of social relationships and values underlying them would change considerably. Again, the most illuminating data showing the kinds of changes of social relations and their underlying values are found in the surveys conducted by the Institute of Statistical Mathematics, Ministry of Education every five years since 1953. One question notes that "there are all sorts of attitudes toward life. Of those listed here (the list is shown), which one would you say comes closest to your feeling?" The percentages of those who picked "don't think about money or fame, just live a life that suits your own tastes," have increased from 21 percent in 1953 to 27 percent in 1958, 30 percent in 1963, 32 percent in 1968, and 39 percent in 1973 by national average.  People have come to prefer less strenuous, more relaxed ways of life. The change has been most conspicuous among the younger generation.
What are the effects of such value changes on Japanese working behavior? Other survey data  show that the younger workers have stronger demands for shorter working hours, more holidays, and longer vacations, as well as more opportunity for self-actualization on the job. (Table 4).
However, the same table tells us about a number of other features of Japanese workers' demands. (1) Even among the young workers, wage raises is still the most outstanding demand. Money is not the goal of life as the survey data show; however, wage increases are the gravest concern for workers in all ages. (2) Middle-aged people, especially those with growing families, have an increased desire to own a house, particularly on their own land, which will serve as security in an age of continued inflation. (3) Senior workers are naturally more concerned about their retirement, health care, and other welfare measures.
In spite of the changing values of the workers, the Japanese organizations—both governmental organizations and private enterprises—have coped skillfully so far in maintaining a high level of motivation for work among their employees, as indicated by a very low rate of absence (2.12 percent in a survey of February 1973 ). The reasons for this success are: (1) The workforce still contains a large proportion of older generations who are committed to older values which lay emphasis on dedication to hard work and loyalty to the organizations. It is often pointed out that the middle-aged, middle-management people in particular have a generational feature of this kind. (2) Japanese big organizations with their paternalistic tradition have the capacity and resources to absorb a variety of demands of the workers of various generations including the youngest: better medical care, housing loans with lower interest, better recreational facilities, and of course, so far, large annual increases in wages. Moreover, they are now introducing a five-day work week, longer vacations, and an extension of the retirement age from fifty-five to sixty—on these points, they are in a position to make concessions to workers' demands. (3) The Japanese younger generation is, in comparison with the previous, older generation, less work-oriented, less organization-oriented, and more self-assertive. In comparison with West European or American youth, however, the present Japanese youth still retains some virtues favorable to the functioning of organizations if the Japanese organizations are clever enough to make an improvement in their operations. For instance, according to national character surveys, the preference of the Japanese for department chiefs who are paternalistic over those who are rationally specific remains unchanged,  Many of them want "self- actualization on the job." According to an eleven-country study of youth conducted by the Japanese government, the percentages of Japanese youth who have chosen "a job worth doing" as the most precious thing in their lives are the highest among the countries surveyed. In spite of signs of decline and less diffuse commitment to the organizations among Japanese youth, comparatively speaking, the Japanese youth are still seeking more from the organizations, and, when organizations are flexible enough to introduce an improvement to take care of more self-assertive youth, they can maintain a fairly high level of work motivation among the youth, keeping the basic lines of Japanese organizations such as life employment, enterprise union, diffuse social relationships within the organizations, and so on. For example, so far there has never even been serious discussion of abolishing the belt conveyor system in assembly lines in Japanese factories.
All the labor and business specialists seem to agree  that the Japanese organizational structures with life employment, enterprise unions, relatively strong commitment to the organizations, and higher motivation to work will survive at least until 1980, as far as the internal factors within them are concerned. Conversely, this means that in the first part of the 1980s Japan will reach the critical point where the accumulated changes of work ethics, attitudes toward life, and those toward company and union will necessitate corresponding changes in the hitherto established institutions and practices in labor relations. Therefore, it will be wiser for Japanese society to prepare for that period and preempt some of the anticipated reforms in advance.
Comparing the three regions, Japanese democracy seems to be suffering less from various changes which have already had threatening effects on democracies in the other two regions. Japan seems to be enjoying the time lag between causes already occurred and the consequences to follow, partly due to the remaining reservoir of traditional values,  and partly due to the structure of its economy.
Some of the consequences of these changes have, however, already emerged to weaken the leadership capacity of Japanese democracy, and the world situation has been changing in the direction of demanding more positive action of Japan, which will be generated only by a higher level of leadership capacity.
As is well known, the LDP is facing the possibility of losing its majority position in the Diet. The opposition parties are split, that is, there is no opposition party which can take the responsibility of governing by itself. Of course, a multiparty system and coalition formation are not intrinsically dysfunctional to the operation of democracy. Moreover, the LDP as the majority governing party for twenty years generated a number of dysfunctions such as a sense of alienation on the part of the supporters of opposition parties, excessive fusion of the LDP with the bureaucracy and big business, the ethical problem of political funds, and sporadic attempts to revive some part of prewar institutions, thereby causing unnecessary friction.  On the other hand, since coalition formation is quite a new experience to Japanese politics on the national level, some confusion and delay of decision would be unavoidable. Especially in foreign policy decision-making, any coalition—even the most moderate one of the LDP and the small Democratic Socialists—will bring with it a weakening of the Japan-U.S. alliance to some degree and probably recourse to a less positive role in international affairs, from the U.S. viewpoint. In other words, coalition formation can bring a more drifting or flexible foreign policy than that under the LDP's single rule.  Domestically also, a multiparty system and coalition formation are good for interest articulation but not necessarily good for interest aggregation. Even under the LDP's single rule, pressure groups have been rampant in getting shares in the government budget. Any coalition will be exposed to more diverse pressures in budget-making and policy formation.
A decade ago, the Socialists seemed to have a bright future, replacing the LDP and taking the position of governing party at some time. The Socialists were then getting the support of the more-educated in the urban areas.  Today, however, in the urban areas, not only the LDP, but also the Socialists are declining. The Komei, the Communists and, although in less degree, the Democratic Socialists are getting a larger share of the votes than before. But these parties are also uncertain about their future because what exists in big cities is a vast number of floating voters with a nonpartisan orientation, whose educational level is high. It seems that no single party will be able to organize this section of the voters as the solid basis of support for it. Fortunately, the possibility is quite slim or nonexistent that these people will come to support the extreme rightists or extreme leftists even in the case of a sudden international or domestic crisis. But they are vagarious in voting, switching their votes from one party to another, and they like to vote for a popular nonpartisan candidate if such a candidate can be found. Successful candidates in gubernatorial elections or mayoral elections in urban areas are those who can appeal to this kind of voter in addition to gaining the support of more than one party. The increasing importance of urban, educated nonpartisans has a positive function in making politicians and political parties more responsive to the demands of the populace outside their regular supporters. However, by encouraging excessive populistic responsiveness by the politicians and political parties, this can also lower their capacity for integration.
The Japan Communist party (JCP) has been successful in recent elections in increasing its votes and seats at both the national and local level. To take the case of the House of Representatives, the JCP's votes have increased from 2.2 million votes (4.76 percent of the total votes cast) in 1967 to 3.2 million votes (6.81 percent) in 1969, and to 5.5 million votes (10.49 percent) in 1972. Especially in metropolitan areas, the JCP is now getting about 20 percent of the total vote. And the JCP has more than 300,000 members (virtually the largest solid party membership in Japan) and its daily party newspaper has more than a million circulation. A number of prefectural governors and big city mayors were elected with the joint support of the JCP together with the Socialists, and, in some cases, the Komei party.
Does the JCP present any possible threat to the governability of Japanese democracy in near future? Most of the observations seem to support the negative, that is, optimistic answer, for the following reasons. First, the JCP seems to be approaching its ceiling in terms of share of the votes. As a nationwide average 15 percent would be the ceiling at least for the 1970s, with 30 percent in metropolitan areas where the JCP is maintaining its strongholds. Second, a major factor which contributed to the increase of support for the JCP is its soft and flexible domestic policies and nationalistic foreign policies independent from the Soviet and Chinese Communist parties. Domestically, the JCP with an average of 15 percent of the votes, or 30 percent in big cities, adopting soft lines would do no harm at all to Japanese democracy. Many domestic issues would be negotiable with this kind of JCP. In the foreign policy area, an independent and nationalistic JCP would function as a factor to enhance Japan's isolation, not only from the United States but also from China and other Asian countries. In this respect, it can be said that the JCP would work dysfunctionally.
Japanese democracy is not in a serious crisis at the present moment. However, the time lag mentioned above means that Japanese democracy will face the consequences of social changes in a future, possibly tighter situation. In comparison with the United States, where the "democratic surge" can be regarded as already having passed the peak, in Japan there is no sign of decline in the increasing tide of popular demands. On the other hand, financial resources of the government are showing signs of stagnation. The reservoir of traditional values of obedience, groupism, frugality, etc., which are still working to counterbalance the rising tide of popular demands and protest, might be exhausted at some future time. Thus, the emergence of the time-lagged consequences and the exhaustion of the "traditional" reservoir will both come in the early 1980s, as many people argue.
What will become of Japanese democracy after 1980? According to a survey on national goals,  a majority of the Japanese leaders surveyed believe that Japan will continue to be committed to democratic principles and to a "uniquely Japanese democracy" in the future. But what this would be and how it can be built are still unclear.
1. Joji Watanuki, "Contemporary Japanese Perceptions of International Society," Sophia University, Institute of International Relations Research Paper Series A-13, 1973.
2. Joji Watanuki, "Formation and Survival of Japanese Democracy after the Second World War," a paper presented to the VIII World Congress of Sociology, Toronto, Canada, August 1974.
3. As for koenkai, see also Joji Watanuki, "Japanese Politics in Flux," in James William Morley (ed.), Prologue to the Future—The United States and Japan in the Postindustrial Age (Lexington: D. C. Heath, 1974), pp. 77-79.
4. According to the report on the revenue of political funds compiled by Ministry of Autonomy for the first half of 1974, out of a registered total of 51.6 billion yen ($172 million) in political funds, the LDP itself and LDP factions together got 40 billion yen. See The Yomiuri Shimbun, December 25, 1974. Moreover, it is widely believed that, if we take "hidden money" into consideration, the LDP is spending more. For instance, it was pointed out that the actual sum of money the LDP spent in 1972 was nearly 100 billion yen, although the official record for that year was 26 billion yen. See Bungei Shunju, September 1974.
5. In a survey on Bureau and Section Chiefs in the Japanese national bureaucracy, 37 percent answered that they are independent when asked about their party preference. Especially in the Ministry of International Trade and Industry and the Economic Planning Agency, the majority chose the position of independent. This is proof of the high political neutrality of technocrats. Nikkei Business Henshubu, Nippon no Kigyo Kankyo (Tokyo: Nihon Keizai Shimbun, 1974), pp. 182-83.
6. Ibid., p. 72.
7. These figures include the general account but exclude special accounts and governmental investment; they include the starting budget but do not count any additional budget; and they are nominal values.
8. These figures are cited from Nobutaka Shikauch, "Nihon no Masukomi no Genjo to Fuji-Sankei-Group no Chosen," Seiron, November, 1974. Also, I am indebted to this article in describing the characteristics of Japanese mass media.
9. For instance, see "Review of National Policies for Education," Education Committee, OECD, November, 1970.
10. For instance, see Joji Watanuki, "Contemporary Japanese Perceptions of International Society," op. cit., table 4 in appendix.
11. Japanese data were gathered by Komei Senkyo Renmei in a nationwide survey conducted in December 1972. European data were based on a survey conducted by Professor Inglehart. See Ronald Inglehart, "The Silent Revolution in Europe: Intergenerational Change in Postindustrial Societies," American Political Science Review, vol. 65, no. 4 (December 1971), pp. 991-1017.
12. Komei Senkyo-Renmei, Sangiin Tsujosenkyo no Jittai, 1974.
13. Institute of Statistical Mathematics, A Study of the Japanese National Character-The Fifth Nationwide Survey, Research Report General Series No. 38,1974, p. 25.
14. From a survey conducted by the Ministry of Labor in 1971. Cited from Shokuken, 1974, Spring, p. 3.
15. From the survey on the illness and absence of workers, conducted by the Ministry of Labor, February 1973. Moreover, vacations are counted as absence.
16. Institute of Mathematical Statistics, op. cit., p. 55.
17. Sadayoshi Okubo, Rodo no Miraiyosoku [Prediction of Future Labor] (Tokyo: Teikoku Chihogyosei Gakkai, 1972).
18. Since the oil crisis, many observers argue that we have to return to traditional values. For instance, ex-Vice Minister of MITI, Eimei Yamashita, answered a question by Bernard Krisher, Newsweek's Tokyo bureau chief, as follows: Question: What about the impact of Japan's economic crunch on traditional values?" Answer: "I see it as leading to a return to traditional values rather than a departure from them. During the past decade, Japanese youth abandoned all ideas of saving. They spent lavishly on clothes, electronics, and cars. But since the oil crisis, we have returned to more basic Japanese concepts. I don't think we will revert entirely to the mentality of Tokugawa feudalism, but we will be able to strike a happy balance." Newsweek, November 18,1974, p. 15.
19. For instance, even today, under the Miki Cabinet, some LDP members are tenaciously trying to make the Yasukuni shrine—a Shinto shrine dedicated to those who died in battle since Meiji—a national institution, despite fierce protest from not only opposition parties but also Christians.
20. Whether Japanese foreign policy will be labeled "drifting" or "flexible" depends on whether we can establish our own principles of diplomacy under a multiparty system or not.
21. Cf. Joji Watanuki, "Patterns of Politics in Present-day Japan," S. M. Upset and Stein Rokkan, eds., Party Systems and Voter Alignments (New York: The Free Press, 1967).
22. Yasumasa Tanaka, "Toward a Multi-Level, Multi-Stage Model of Modernization: A Case Study of Japanese Opinion Leaders on the Present and Future National Goals," Gakushuin Review of Law and Politics, 9, 1974, p. 27.