Catalogue


Japan under construction : corruption, politics, and public works /
Brian Woodall.
imprint
Berkeley, Calif. : University of California Press, c1996.
description
xiii, 214 p.
ISBN
0520088158 (alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Berkeley, Calif. : University of California Press, c1996.
isbn
0520088158 (alk. paper)
catalogue key
1634181
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Excerpts
Flap Copy
"I would like to commend Professor Woodall for his in-depth look at the corrupt dango system that has plagued the public works market in Japan. Having spent the last ten years trying to pry open the closed Japanese public works market, I believe that this book lays out clearly the structural problems that block access for U.S. firms. I hope that this illuminating look at how the Japanese system operates will lead to further changes in Japan's public procurement system."--Senator Frank L. Murkowski "Woodall has done a wonderful job of getting behind the scenes to look at the preeminent sector where money flows to politicians. This is the richest and most subtle analysis of this industry to appear in English."--Ezra F. Vogel, author of Japan as Number One "An important contribution to our knowledge of Japan. Brian Woodall has dug up quite a bit of new factual information on this understudied industry."--Frances Rosenbluth, author of Financial Politics in Contemporary Japan and coauthor of Japan's Political Marketplace
Flap Copy
"I would like to commend Professor Woodall for his in-depth look at the corrupt dangosystem that has plagued the public works market in Japan. Having spent the last ten years trying to pry open the closed Japanese public works market, I believe that this book lays out clearly the structural problems that block access for U.S. firms. I hope that this illuminating look at how the Japanese system operates will lead to further changes in Japan's public procurement system."--Senator Frank L. Murkowski "Woodall has done a wonderful job of getting behind the scenes to look at the preeminent sector where money flows to politicians. This is the richest and most subtle analysis of this industry to appear in English."--Ezra F. Vogel, author of Japan as Number One "An important contribution to our knowledge of Japan. Brian Woodall has dug up quite a bit of new factual information on this understudied industry."--Frances Rosenbluth, author of Financial Politics in Contemporary Japanand coauthor of Japan's Political Marketplace
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1996-10-01:
Concise and well written, this book provides some significant insights into the use and abuse of public works projects in Japan. It opens by discussing the nature of Japan's dual political economy and its component regimes of the developmental state and the client state. The author then takes us into the world of the public works bureaucrats of the Ministry of Construction (MOC). In the next two chapters, he leads us through the shadowy linkages among MOC bureaucrats, politicians, and the construction industry. He shows that the resulting triangular relationship serves more the interests of its individual members than the interests of Japanese society. Although the relationship results in some redistribution of resources from wealthier urban areas to poorer rural areas, it also contributes significantly to political corruption--e.g., inflated bids on public works projects. The author also argues convincingly that the threat to those who personally benefit from pork-barrel politics explains the intensity of the response to US demands for open bidding on public works projects and the minimal concessions granted by the Japanese government. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty. J. M. Peek Centenary College of Louisiana
Reviews
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, October 1996
Reference & Research Book News, November 1996
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Main Description
In 1987, Japan excluded American firms from bidding on the multibillion-dollar New Kansai International Airport, sparking yet another trade dispute between the United States and Japan. The State Department, Congress, and the President himself were caught up in the dispute, which still smolders even after Congress passed a threatening resolution to retaliate. Scandal after scandal--both domestic and international--splashes across headlines in Japan, generating wave after wave of attempts at reform. Why is this industry so rife with bid-rigging, collusion, and pork-barrel politics? What are the political forces behind the industry? Brian Woodall answers these questions in this book, based on extensive research and over one hundred candid and revealing interviews with contractors, industry association officials, public works bureaucrats, elected politicians and aides, political party officials, journalists, and scholars. This inside view begins with a profile of the institutionalized system of bid-rigging in the public construction market. It explores the powerful positions of unelected bureaucrats, who are often hired by private-sector firms after retirement. Career politicians within the Liberal Democratic Party are revealed to use the construction industry to exploit party factions toward their own electoral ends. Recent events--the Sagawa affair and the massive "general contractors" (zenekon)scandal as well as the political reform movements that followed them--are examined in detail. Throughout, Brian Woodall illuminates the construction rift between Japan and the United States and demonstrates how international pressures were subverted within the shadowy domestic system. Japan Under Constructionis must reading for anyone interested in Japanese politics, United States-Japan trade relations, and political corruption and reform anywhere in the world.
Long Description
In 1987, Japan excluded American firms from bidding on the multibillion-dollar New Kansai International Airport, sparking yet another trade dispute between the United States and Japan. The State Department, Congress, and the President himself were caught up in the dispute, which still smolders even after Congress passed a threatening resolution to retaliate. Scandal after scandal--both domestic and international--splashes across headlines in Japan, generating wave after wave of attempts at reform. Why is this industry so rife with bid-rigging, collusion, and pork-barrel politics? What are the political forces behind the industry? Brian Woodall answers these questions in this book, based on extensive research and over one hundred candid and revealing interviews with contractors, industry association officials, public works bureaucrats, elected politicians and aides, political party officials, journalists, and scholars. This inside view begins with a profile of the institutionalized system of bid-rigging in the public construction market. It explores the powerful positions of unelected bureaucrats, who are often hired by private-sector firms after retirement. Career politicians within the Liberal Democratic Party are revealed to use the construction industry to exploit party factions toward their own electoral ends. Recent events--the Sagawa affair and the massive "general contractors"(zenekon)scandal as well as the political reform movements that followed them--are examined in detail. Throughout, Brian Woodall illuminates the construction rift between Japan and the United States and demonstrates how international pressures were subverted within the shadowy domestic system. Japan Under Constructionis must reading for anyone interested in Japanese politics, United States-Japan trade relations, and political corruption and reform anywhere in the world.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgments
Note on Conventions
Introductionp. 1
Construction Contractors and the Calculus of Collusionp. 25
Public Works Bureaucrats Under Siegep. 51
The Career Politician and the Phantom Party's Invisible Feetp. 81
Factioneers, Tribalists, and the LDP's Construction Caucusp. 103
Conclusion: Change and Inertia in the Politics of Japanese Public Worksp. 124
Appendix A. Chronology of Trade Friction and Scandal in Japanese Construction, 1985-1994p. 151
Appendix B. Administrative Vice-Ministers of Construction, 1948-1994p. 155
Appendix C. Construction Ministers, 1955-1994p. 157
Appendix D. Positional Influence and the Pork Barrel: A Multivariate Regression Modelp. 159
Notesp. 163
Referencesp. 181
Indexp. 205
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

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