Local Government Development in Post-war Japan

Hardcover | October 23, 2003

EditorMichio Muramatsu, Farrukh Iqbal, Ikuo Kume

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This book examines the evolution of intergovernmental relations in postwar Japan. These relations are shown to be both complex and dynamic, and the Japanese model is revealed as one in which aspects of both central control and local autonomy have co-existed with the balance shifting graduallyover time towards the latter. The Japanese system has helped to maintain broad-based economic growth since it has at its core a strongly egalitarian fiscal transfer mechanism. At the same time, it has proved to be consistent, to a much greater extent than previously recognized, with politicaldevelopment, or progress in the attainment of such political values as liberty (personal rights) and equality (broad participation in public affairs) for individuals and communities. This is because the national government has proved flexible enough to accommodate, although not always with grace oralacrity, citizen concerns about the quality of life. The Japanese approach to intergovernmental relationships has also been successful in solving coordination problems which often arise between local and central government units and in building capacity to support greater and effectivedecentralization. Coordination problems have been handled through a variety of mechanisms including the practice of agency delegated functions, while local capacity issues have been addressed through such practices as the exchange of personnel across different levels of government and the use ofattractive compensation and training packages to recruit and retain local staff. The Japanese experience thus provides an example of gradual and guided decentralization based on shared responsibilities between local and central governments for mobilizing, managing, and spending public resources inthe pursuit of sustainable development.

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This book examines the evolution of intergovernmental relations in postwar Japan. These relations are shown to be both complex and dynamic, and the Japanese model is revealed as one in which aspects of both central control and local autonomy have co-existed with the balance shifting graduallyover time towards the latter. The Japanese s...

Ikuo Kume is Professor of Political Science in the Faculty of Law at Kobe University, Japan. Farrukh Iqbal is Regional Coordinator, East Asia Programs at the World Bank Institute, World Bank. Michio Muramatsu is Professor in the Faculty of Law at Kyoto University, Japan.
Format:HardcoverDimensions:272 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.79 inPublished:October 23, 2003Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199248281

ISBN - 13:9780199248285

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Table of Contents

1. Michio Muramatsu and Farrukh Iqbal: Understanding Japanese Central-Local Government Relations: Perspectives, Models, and Salient Characteristics2. Terry MacDougall: Towards Political Inclusiveness: The Changing Role of Local Government3. Kengo Akizuki: Partnership in Controlled Decentralization: Local Governments and the Ministry of Home Affairs4. Nobuki Mochida: Local Taxes and Intergovernmental Transfers in Japan's Local Public Finances5. Steven R. Reed: Impersonal Mechanisms and Personal Networks in the Distribution of Central Grants to Local Governments in Japan6. Takenori Inoki: An Analysis of Staff Loans and Transfers Among Central and Local Governments in Japan7. Hiroaki Inatsugu: Personnel Pay Systems and Organizations of Local Governments8. Masaru Mabuchi: Municipal Amalgamation in Japan9. Ikuo Kume: The Agency-Delegated Function and its Implications10. Toshiya Kitayama: Local Policy Initiatives in Integrated Central-Local Relations11. Michio Muramatsu, Ikuo Kume, Farrukh Iqbal: Local Government Development: Some Lessons of Experience from Japan