TITLE

JAPANESE SOCIALISM IN CRISIS

AUTHOR(S)
Scalapino, Robert A.
PUB. DATE
January 1960
SOURCE
Foreign Affairs;Jan1960, Vol. 38 Issue 2, p318
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
The article discusses the status and role of Socialists in Japan. Japan can be called a one and one-half party state. The weak and divided Japanese Socialists cannot seriously challenge the massive Liberal-Democratic Party. In large measure, this has always been true. Even when the Japanese conservatives were divided, prior to 1955, they consistently polled close to two-thirds of the vote in national elections and a considerably higher percentage in most local contests. Optimism in Socialist ranks has been replaced by gloom. The Japanese Socialist Party has been stopped in its tracks and now faces another internal crisis of major proportions. New clouds first appeared in the election for the House of Representatives in May 1958, when the Socialist rate of growth declined. The grave problems implicit in their current leadership, organization and social foundations, how does a party become responsible without power, indeed, when it is almost without hope of power? If there is no legacy of policy to defend, irresponsibility is an omnipresent danger. There is just enough in the pattern of modern power and in socioeconomic trends in the "advanced" world to suggest a new problem for democracy: the problem of the perennial minority. Democracy is in peril if one party knows only how to govern and the others only how to oppose.
ACCESSION #
14720139

 

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