What is going on in Japanese politics these days? Finance Minister Yoshi-hiko Noda was elected as the sixth prime minister in five years. Why does Japan cannot bring stability into poli-tics? It will be argued in this essay that is not just the problem of leader-ship but also one related to structural impediments of Japanese politics.
Previous Prime Minister Naoto Kan lost credibility amongst the electorate for several reasons. He did not trust the country’s ministerial bureaucracy and declared war on the very bureau-crats who needed to keep any country running. Without a sufficient inner-party power basis, and without a ma-jority in the Upper House of the Na-tional Diet, Kan inflicted confusion and incoherence onto his cabinet.
Then came the 3/11 Great East Japan Earthquake and the following nuclear accidents at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plants. Can Japan’s new Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda make the difference in post-March 2011 Japan?