日本語   JCIE Japanese Language Site



How a Diet Member's Koenkai Adapts to Social Change

Hideo Otake

Professor of Political Science
Kyoto University

 

The new electoral system of 1994 ironically led to a strengthening of the koenkai (personal support organizations), the reform of which, both as the focus of candidates' competition to provide selective services to the electorate and as the breeding ground for corruption, had been the prime objective of the electoral reforms. This paper reexamines the role of the koenkai in Japanese elections, analyzing the long-term development of a particular koenkai in Sendai. First, the paper outlines how this koenkai was initially organized and how it evolved thereafter, particularly focusing upon how the second-generation Diet member has tried to adapt its structure to the rapid urbanization of his district. Next the paper indicates how this koenkai has been restructured in response to the changing electoral environment since the electoral reforms of 1994.