Differences of Policy Formulation Processes in Japan and U.S. Parliaments: Roles of the Cabinet, Congressional Staff, Government Officials, Lobbyists, Parliamentarians, and Think Tanks
Date and Time
Thursday, November 3, 2011 10:30am-12:00pm
Conference Room, JSPS/JST Washington, D.C. Office
2001 L Street, N.W. Suite 1050 Washington, D.C. 20036 U.S.A.
Admission Fee: Free of charge
Only 20 percent of legislation adopted in the Japanese Diet is proposed by Members of the Diet, while 80 is proposed by the Cabinet. This contrasts strikingly with the United States. Moreover, in practice, Japanese government officials draft all the Cabinet-initiated bills and Members-initiated bills by the ruling party in the Diet. Such a policy formulation processes has led to absence of lobbyists in Japan. Moreover, think tanks have a low profile in Japan, since each ministry is equipped with research institutes, which carry out research required to develop bills. Some Diet members, in particular those in opposition parties, hope to develop bills by themselves without assistance from government officials. The present Government of Japan, led by the Democratic Party, tried to avoid reliance upon government officials in policy formulation and bill development when it took power in 2009. It soon turned out impossible, for Diet members simply do not have instruments to develop bills such as congressional staff, lobbyists or think tanks. This seminar illustrates the process with which bill are developed in the Japanese Diet, in comparison with the same in the U.S. Congress. It also shows how the different policy formulation processes in two countries have led to differences in actors and their roles in two countries. Suggestions will be made if and how Japanese Diet members may strengthen their capacities to develop bill by themselves.
Mr. Nobuaki Yasunaga
Moderator & Speaker
Mr. Paul Joffe
Senior Foreign Policy Counsel, The World Resources Institute
U.S.-Japan Research Institute (USJI)
Keio University, Kyoto University, Ritsumeikan University, The University of Tokyo, Waseda University