Harvard Symposium on Japanese Politics

The purpose of this symposium is to nurture dialogue and debate among political scientists dedicated to the study of Japanese politics, and to explore the latest developments and new directions for future research. The keynote speaker will be Steven Reed, Professor Emeritus of Chuo University, whose many contributions to the study of Japanese politics span several research areas, including elections and parties, political economy and policymaking, and religion and politics.

The symposium is organized by Dan Smith, Associate Professor of Government at Harvard University, and made possible by generous support from the Edwin O. Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies and the Program on U.S.-Japan Relations at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs (WCFIA) at Harvard University; the Northeast Asia Council (NEAC) of the Association for Asian Studies (AAS); and the Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership (CGP).

Participants are required to register in advance. For questions relating to registration, please contact Shinju Fujihira, Executive Director of the Program on U.S.-Japan Relations: sfujihira(at)wcfia.harvard.eduA tentative schedule is listed below.

Date: Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Location: Harvard University

Panel 1: Making common sense of candidates and elections

Kenneth Mori McElwain (University of Tokyo), “Generational Differences in Japanese Attitudes towards the Political Economy” (with Tomoko Matsumoto and Junko Kato)

Justin Reeves (Southern Methodist University), “Gender Differences in Candidate Policy Priorities, Expertise, and Positions: Do Male and Female Office Seekers Represent Different Issues in Japan?” (with Yoshikuni Ono)

Kiichiro Arai (Tokyo Metropolitan University), “Did They Cheat on Candidates Surveys?”

Jochen Rehmert (Hertie School of Governance), “Behavioral Consequences of Open Candidate Recruitment”

Moderator/Discussant: Stephen Ansolabehere
Frank G. Thompson Professor of Government, Harvard University

Panel 2: Making common sense of clientelism and organized votes     

Amy Catalinac (New York University), “Geographically-Targeted Spending Under PR: Evidence from Japan and Mexico” (with Lucia Motolinia-Carballo)

Axel Klein (University of Duisburg-Essen): “Explaining Change in “Organized Votes”: The Case of the Japanese Lay Religion Sōka Gakkai” (with Levi McLaughlin)

Matthew Carlson (University of Vermont): “Political Transparency and the 1975 Miki Reforms”

Rieko Kage (University of Tokyo), “Searching for Contributions by Moonlight: Politically Connected Firms in Japan” (with Yusaku Horiuchi and Hiroto Katsumata)

Moderator/Discussant: Pia Raffler
Assistant Professor of Government, Harvard University

Panel 3: Making common sense of political economy and policymaking

Kay Shimizu (University of Pittsburgh), “Fiscal Decentralization and the Plight of Local Governments”

Charles McClean (University of California, San Diego), “Young Mayors and Municipal Fiscal Outcomes”

Phillip Lipscy (Stanford University): “From Leader to Villain: The Evolution of Japanese Energy and Climate Change Policy”

Moderator/Discussant: Jeffry Frieden
Professor of Government, Harvard University

Keynote speaker: Steven R. Reed, Professor Emeritus of Chuo University

Steven R. Reed is Professor Emeritus of Modern Government at Chuo University in Japan, where all of his classes were taught in Japanese. Professor Reed’s scholarship over the course of his distinguished career has had a major impact on the study of Japanese politics, electoral and party institutions, voting behavior, local governments and policymaking, and religion and politics.

He is the author of Japanese Prefectures and Policymaking (University of Pittsburgh Press, 1986), Japan Election Data: The House of Representatives, 1947-1990 (Center for Japanese Studies, University of Michigan, 1990), Making Common Sense of Japan (University of Pittsburgh Press, 1993), Hikaku Seijigaku [Comparative Politics] (in Japanese, Minerva Press, 2006), and most recently Political Corruption and Scandals in Japan (Cornell University Press, 2018, with Matthew Carlson). He is the editor or co-editor of Japanese Electoral Politics: Creating a New Party System (Routledge, 2003), Political Change in Japan: Electoral Behavior, Party Realignment, and the Koizumi Reforms (Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center at Stanford and the Brookings Institution, 2009), Japan Decides 2012 (Palgrave MacMillan, 2013), Kōmeitō: Politics and Religion in Japan (Institute of East Asian Studies at UC Berkeley, 2014), Japan Decides 2014 (Palgrave MacMillan, 2016), and Japan Decides 2017 (Palgrave MacMillan, 2018). His articles have been published in numerous journals, including the American Journal of Political Science, British Journal of Political Science, Comparative Political Studies, Electoral Studies, Party Politics, and the Japanese Journal of Political Science.

He earned his B.A. in Political Science from Wabash College in 1969, and served in the US Army from 1970 to 1973. He then earned a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Michigan in 1979. From 1979 to 1984, he was Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Alabama. From 1985 to 1987, he was Associate Professor of Government at Harvard University. He returned to the University of Alabama from 1987 to 1992 as Associate Professor, and then as Professor from 1992 until 1993, when he moved to Chuo University.