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Type: Journal article
Title: Kan Naoto: Symbol of a new politics in Japan?
Author: Jain, P.
Citation: Japanese Studies, 2010; 30(2):283-294
Publisher: Carfax Publishing Ltd
Issue Date: 2010
ISSN: 1037-1397
Statement of
Purnendra Jain
Abstract: This article offers historical insights into the political philosophy, electoral strategies and commitment to 'change' politics of Kan Naoto, who in June 2010 became leader of the Democratic Party of Japan and the nation's new prime minister. The preface introduces an unpublished paper that the author wrote immediately after Kan's first electoral success in 1980, not long after the author's extensive personal interviews with the then budding political aspirant. That paper, which follows, reveals how Kan's entry into the national political system he now leads is quite atypical of Japanese politicians generally and certainly of most of his predecessor prime ministers who were supported by a powerful mix of wealth and connections, often through inheritance. Instead Kan is a 'self-made' politician, the first to reach national leadership initially through participatory democracy: electoral organizations based on citizen movements and grassroots involvement in national politics. The epilogue that follows considers the possible consequences of this style of political advancement for how Kan operates as leader of his party, the national political system, and the Japanese nation.
Rights: © Copyright © 2011 Taylor & Francis Group, an informa business
RMID: 0020103990
DOI: 10.1080/10371397.2010.501757
Appears in Collections:Asian Studies publications

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