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Stratified Party Organization and Strategic Segregation of National and Local Elections : Analysis on Kōmeitō's Side-Switching in Tokyo in 2017

Sohn, Sukeui 1

1서울대학교 일본연구소

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ABSTRACT

The purpose of this study is to examine why Kōmeitō sometimes employs doublesided behaviors in local and national elections, and to shed light on the party's electoral rationality by analyzing the perceived opportunity structures surrounding local and national elections in 2017. The analysis reveals that the party has indeed developed high level of local autonomy and segregation from national politics in order to maintain organizational integrity. As the results of two elections held in Tokyo in 2017 show, the side-switching between local and national elections is not the result of intra-party conflict, but rather the embodiment of electoral rationality within the Kōmeitō’s party organization. This paper first discusses the characteristics of Kōmeitō’s party organization as ‘stratified organization,’ in which the decentralization of power is systematized for the sole purpose of maintaining electoral integrity. Second, it draws LDP-Kōmeitō relations at local level in Tokyo as ‘disengaged’ relationship characterized by strategic complacency. Lastly, this paper analyzes the results of two elections held in Tokyo in 2017 which vividly exposed Kōmeitō’s effective side-switching between local and national elections.

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* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.