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Liberal Democratic Party and Its Religious Mobilization

  • JAPAN SPACE
  • 2023, (33), pp.47-79
  • Publisher : The Institute of Japanese Studies
  • Research Area : Social Science > Area Studies
  • Received : April 3, 2023
  • Accepted : May 15, 2023
  • Published : June 30, 2023

Sohn, Sukeui 1

1가톨릭대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

The purpose of this study is to examine the rationality behind the associations between Japan’s Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification (widely known as the Unification Church, hereafter UC). The findings are as follows. First, the politicians perceive religious organizations as potential source of organized votes, which becomes the incentives for both sides to develop interdependence through ‘informal institutions’. While the Asahi Shinbun survey did not reveal any factional bias among those who admitted associations with the UC, the likelihood was higher for those whose electoral bases were weak. The individual LDP representatives maintained ‘loose’ connections with the religious organization within their districts because of the low cost of maintaining them. Furthermore, while the LDP and the UC share similar policy preferences in terms of national security and ‘family values,’ no significant gap was found between those who were associatied with the UC and those who were not. This paper demonstrates that it was largely the electoral rationality that urged the individual LDP representatives to incorporate organized votes from religious organizations, rather than the proximity of policy preferences.

Citation status

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