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Local Governance in Japan

Local governance in Japan is highly diverse and colorful. While political actors and community members address common challenges such as population aging, outmigration, and economic downturn throughout the country, they also strive to preserve their local identity, which is oftentimes reflected in the strategies they choose. The multiplicity of actors and their strategies involved in governing the local through an interplay of formal and informal politics are at the center of our ongoing research projects, two of which draw on the case of Okinawa Prefecture (Political Participation and Electoral Behavior on a Subnational Level and Conversion of Military Land to Civilian Use), with an expansion of cases in a planning stage.

Another topic that members of the Japan-Center currently work on is the question of how the substantial shift in Japan’s population composition impacts political participation, candidate selection and voter behavior. We will update this site with new information as these projects grow.