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Takenaka Harukata
  • Takenaka Harukata 
  • By this author: 15 Latest posted: 2017.09.22
Professor at the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies. Graduated from the University of Tokyo, where he majored in law. Joined the Ministry of Finance. Subsequently received his PhD in political science from Stanford University. Author of Sangiin to wa nani ka (What Is the House of Councillors?) and other works. Member of the editorial committee.
Prime Minister Abe’s Drive to Amend the Constitution: Can He Overcome the Hurdles?2017.09.22

Prime Minister Abe is aiming to amend the Constitution of Japan by 2020. But support for his administration has declined sharply, and if he insists on pushing ahead with the amendment process according to his intended schedule, he runs the risk of failing both at revising the Constitution and at holding on to power.

Change Brewing in the Boardroom: A Proxy Adviser Assesses Corporate Governance in Japan2015.12.17

Proxy advisers are a new phenomenon in Japan, where companies are only now beginning to treat shareholder interests as a serious priority. In an exclusive interview, Executive Director Ishida Takeyuki of Institutional Shareholder Services in Japan offers his unique perspective on the reforms that are slowly but surely changing the face of corporate governance in Japan.

Weighing Vote Disparity in Japan’s Upper House2015.07.30

The House of Councillors has been criticized for being too powerful, undermining the policymaking efforts of the cabinet in a divided government and making Japan’s parliamentary democracy dysfunctional. It has also failed to heed the Supreme Court’s warnings to fundamentally rectify voting-power disparities between electoral districts. As a result, some are now beginning to question the legitimacy…

Ambivalent Mandate for the Abe Cabinet2015.01.09

Was the ruling coalition’s landslide in the recent general election a sweeping mandate for Prime Minister Abe’s economic policies, as the government has claimed? Political scientist Takenaka Harukata suggests otherwise, arguing that voter support for the status quo rests on disillusionment with the opposition and uncertainty about the long-term success of “Abenomics.”

Liberating a Library in Saga Prefecture2013.10.16

A public library in the city of Takeo has been revamped with the help of the retail chain Tsutaya. We sat down with the mayor of Takeo, Hiwatashi Keisuke, to find out more about this initiative.

The Politics of the Tax Hike and Abenomics2013.10.04

On October 1, the cabinet of Prime Minister Abe Shinzō decided that the government would raise the consumption tax rate from 5% to 8% as scheduled next April. Below I provide a political interpretation of why it reached this decision. In recent months, Prime Minister Abe repeatedly acknowledged that he would carefully make the final judgment about the hike while taking into account its impact o…

Japan in Pursuit of Westminster Democracy2013.09.25

Since the 1990s Japan has undertaken a raft of political reforms designed to foster more efficient and effective government. Takenaka Harukata assesses the outcome of these institutional changes, the lingering obstacles to majoritarian democracy in Japan, and the implications for policymaking under the second Abe cabinet.

Decentralization: Who Is It For?2013.03.08

Decentralization of power has been on Japan’s agenda for 20 years, but how much real progress has been achieved? We interviewed Katayama Yoshihiro, who won high marks for his performance as governor of Tottori Prefecture (1999–2007) and who promoted decentralization as a member of Kan Naoto’s cabinet (2010–11).

Why Noda Decided to Call an Election2012.12.14

On November 16 Prime Minister Noda Yoshihiko dissolved the House of Representatives; a general election will be held on December 16. Many readers may wonder why he took that step at this time. After all, public support for Noda’s cabinet and his Democratic Party of Japan is languishing at a very low level. Opinion polls conducted by the major newspapers shortly before the announcement show that th…

The Tasks Ahead for Noda and the DPJ2012.11.06

On September 21 the Democratic Party of Japan held its presidential election. Noda Yoshihiko, the current prime minister, handily won reelection to hang on to the top spot. The task before him now is to tackle a raft of domestic and foreign policy issues while keeping an eye on the calendar to choose the best time to hold the next general election. In this column I look mainly at the domestic iss…

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