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The End of Competitive Coexistence: Large Companies and Their Unions under Japan's New Election System

Isao Niwa

Research Assistant
Kyoto University

 

This essay explores the election campaign of two large Japanese companies and their unions. Under the old multi-seat district system, large companies and their unions mobilized for different parties, and both the company candidate and the union candidate could win. The new single-member district system made this coexistence impossible. Now, only the side with the ability to mobilize votes can propel their candidate to victory. Two case studies are examined in this paper. In one, what had been coexistence turned into competition. In the other, coexistence took the form of an implicit labor-management coalition.