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Title: The Japanese Civil Service: Paradox of a Reform Driven by but Ignoring Emotion
Other Titles: 日本の公務員制度 : 感情に動かされ、感情を無視した改革
Authors: SHIMADA-Logie, Hiroko
Author's alias: 嶋田, 博子
Keywords: Japan
Civil Service
Civil Service Reform
Japanese Diet
personnel control
Westminster Model
Wittgenstein’s language game
impartiality
bureaucracy
Issue Date: 24-Dec-2021
Publisher: Ragnar Nurkse Department of Innovation and Governance at Tallinn University of Technology
Journal title: Halduskultuur: The Estonian Journal of Administrative Culture and Digital Governance
Volume: 21
Issue: 2
Start page: 64
End page: 79
Abstract: This essay, based on a public lecture, deals with the last Civil Service (CS) Reform in Japan, which had been attempted since the 1990s and was completed in 2014. Bureaucrats enjoyed a “summer” where they actively were engaged in policy-making. But a series of policy failures and scandals revealed in the 1990s were attributed to their excessive autonomy, and centralized personnel control by the prime minister was introduced. However, discourse analysis of the Diet (Parliament) during the period of Reform indicates that there was neither a shared understanding of the meaning of CS impartiality, nor of the values to be borne by the CS. The driving force of the Reform was mainly people’s fury. It therefore resulted in relegating bureaucrats to being “lackeys” of the prime minister, ignoring their self-respect. This has given rise to various undesirable consequences. Will the CS see another “spring” in Japan?
Rights: This PDF is deposited under the publisher's permission.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2433/267443
DOI(Published Version): 10.32994/hk.v21i2.278
Appears in Collections:Journal Articles

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