State and civil society in Japan

Authored by: Yuko Kawato , Robert J. Pekkanen , Hidehiro Yamamoto

Routledge Handbook of Japanese Politics

Print publication date:  February  2011
Online publication date:  February  2011

Print ISBN: 9780415551373
eBook ISBN: 9780203829875
Adobe ISBN: 9781136818387


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Civil society is the organized non-state, non-market sector that exists above the family and individual. Below, we highlight five facets of the state-civil society relationship in Japan. First, we explain how the state’s legal, regulatory, and financial powers have molded Japan’s civil society. Second, we focus on the cooperative relationship between the state and some civil society actors. Third, the state-civil society relationship can be oppositional when civil society organizations engage in protest against the state and its policies. Fourth, we illustrate how state interaction with civil society can differ at different levels of government. Many civil society organizations have created closer ties with local governments than with the national government. Finally, we highlight some civil society actors that wish to avoid or minimize interacting with the state.

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