Japan'S Ratification Of The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty: A Study Of The Diffusion Of Policymaking Power And Consensus Politics In Japanese Foreign Policymaking.

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Two analytical models of the Japanese foreign policymaking serve as the point of departure for this study: the tripartite power elite model and the "tripod system" model. According to the power elite model, which is the most popular model for Japan, there are three groups in Japan--the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), bureaucracy, and big business--that dominate the Japanese policy-making process as a cohesive triumvirate elite group. The second analytic model, the "tripod system" model, advanced by Chihiro Hosoya of Hitotsubashi University, also conceptualizes the same three groups as the dominant participants in the Japanese foreign policymaking process. However, unlike the power elite model, the focus of the second model is on the primacy of the LDP Prime Minister's role in the foreign policymaking process. Thus, the three dominant groups are subordinated to the Prime Minister whom they support as his three "pillars" ("tripod"). The Japanese foreign policymaking process has been characterized by various scholars as a "fragmented," "truncated pyramid" system structurally, and, behaviorally "immobilist." The central question that this study asks is twofold: the first question focuses on the nature of the Prime Minister's role, on the one hand, and on the question of variations in the Prime Minister's role according to the type of policy issues involved, on the other. The thesis of this study, relative to the NPT policymaking case, is that, because of his functional and positional centrality, it was Prime Minister Takeo Miki who played the central role in bringing about Japan's ratification of the treaty. Moreover, the study hypothesizes that the Prime Minister plays the central role (or integrative role) in the foreign policymaking involving "diffuse" issues (such as the NPT) as in the "critical" case policymaking. Likewise, it is further hypothesized that the more diffuse a policy issue is, the more integrative role there is for the Prime Minister to play. The conceptual orientation of this study is based on two critical variables which are deeply rooted in the cultural tradition of Japan: hierarchical groupism and collectivist norms of consensus decision-making. In its contemporary application, this meant the proliferation of groups (such as the factions of the LDP). In its origin, the collectivist norm of consensus decision-making stemmed from the concept of mutuality of dependence and obligation which, in turn, emphasized group solidarity, loyalty, and harmony. In its contemporary application, it is as much practical necessity as it is culturally sanctioned social norm. In view of the proliferation of independent corporate groups, such as the party factions, the consensus means, in reality, integration of different views through compromise and accommodation. This integrative role is played by the Prime Minister of the LDP-government. The study shows that the NPT policymaking process was a typical case, involving a diffuse and complex issue which was characterized by the diffusion of policymaking power and consensus politics. The study suggests that, in the final analysis, it was the Prime Minister's personal role which was instrumental in building a minimum working consensus that enabled Tokyo to ratify the treaty.

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