IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

'Japan Inc.' in the Agricultural Sector: Reform or Regression?

Listed author(s):
  • Aurelia George Mulgan
Registered author(s):

    ‘Japan Inc.’ is manifested in the agricultural sector as a classic subgovernment consisting of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, the Liberal Democratic Party, and the agricultural cooperative organisation (Nokyo). This three-way coalition of bureaucratic, party and producer organisations forms an ‘iron triangle’ of vested interest in agricultural support and protection. The agricultural public works component of the agricultural iron triangle is also linked to the larger iron triangle of public works, one of Japan’s most notorious interest coalitions. In the past decade, processes of electoral reform, administrative reform and financial liberalisation have presented each of the elements in the agricultural iron triangle with problems of political and organisational adjustment. At the same time, tripartite policymaking within the agricultural policy subgovernment has been institutionalised, and the LDP’s agricultural leadership is now directly penetrating the agricultural bureaucracy. Similarly, macro-policy trends such as deregulation, trade liberalisation and fiscal stimulus have influenced the concessions and benefits flowing to the agricultural and rural sectors both positively and negatively. While a degree of induced marketisation and liberalisation has taken place, a defensive consolidation of the agricultural support and protection regime can be discerned with the passage of the 1999 Food, Agriculture and Rural Areas Basic Law. Moreover, the iron triangle of vested interests in agricultural and rural public works has been strengthened by policies to combat Japan’s sustained economic recession. On balance, therefore, innovation and reform are being offset by factors perpetuating the status quo and even further entrenching the agricultural support and protection regime.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Paper provided by Australia-Japan Research Centre, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University in its series Asia Pacific Economic Papers with number 314.

    in new window

    Length: 90 pages
    Date of creation: Apr 2001
    Handle: RePEc:csg:ajrcau:314
    Contact details of provider: Postal:
    Canberra ACT 2601

    Phone: (61-2) 6249 3780
    Fax: (61-2) 6249 3941
    Web page:

    More information through EDIRC

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:csg:ajrcau:314. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Akira Kinefuchi)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.