Consensus politics and Japanese defense budget policy, 1960-1975
Campbell, Sally Howard
Von der Mehden, Fred R.
Master of Arts
During the Vietnam War period, the Japanese defense budget grew eight-fold, from 158 billion yen in 1960 to 1367 billion yen in 1975. In spite of the opposition parties' aversion to growth in the military, little was heard in the way of protests to such growth. In this political system where consensus decision-making dominates, it is unusual not to hear accusations of "tyranny of the majority" when the opposition is shut out of decision making, as was the case with the 1960 Treaty Crisis. However, the growing Japanese economy allowed the LDP to satisfy its desire for increased funds for the military while at the same time appeasing the opposition by restricting the defense budget's percentage of GNP to a minimum. The combination of a tradition of consensus decision making, the desire to avoid a political crisis and an expanding economy led to the ability to reach a minimum consensus on this very divided issue in Japanese politics.
Political science; Economics