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Title: The Japanese bureaucracy and Special Status Corporations : continuing barriers to reform?
Author: Carpenter, Susan
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2002
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Currently the number of publicly funded Special Status Corporations and public corporations in Japan are said to exceed 12,000. Special Status Corporations and public corporations (related to Special Status Corporations) are organisations that have been established in Japan’s central ministries connected to the particular sector they administrate. Local governments establish public corporations as well. Japan’s prolonged economic stagnation and mounting public dept (130% of the GDP in 2001) has brought about a growing public awareness that the central ministries are using their Special Status Corporations and public corporations to perpetuate their own interests. The opposition parties in the Diet are demanding the dissolution or privatisation of Special Status and public corporations for the following reasons: 1) the corporations provide postretirement positions to bureaucrats who receive retirement benefits from their ministries in conjunction with salaries earned as staff in corporations, 2) the corporations serve as a means to expand ministerial jurisdiction, 3) bureaucrats from the ministries are sent to branch offices of public corporations in the provinces to monitor local government policies. This thesis shows the ways which Japan’s ministries can use their corporations for these reasons. As an example of how ministries can use their Special Status Corporations this thesis examines a Special Status Corporation managed by the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) and how it serves the ministry for postretirement positions, for expanding jurisdiction and for monitoring local government policy. Despite the fact that the corporation has received harsh criticism in the Japanese press for no longer serving its original purpose and for taking territory away from other ministries, MITI has continuously re-orchestrated its functions in order to keep the organisation alive. This thesis proposes the hypothesis that despite a firm commitment from Prime Minister Koizumi Junichiro to implement reform of special status and public corporations, as part of administering the reforms, will certainly continue operating their organisations over the long-term.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available