|Author Name||Gerald CURTIS
|Creation Date/NO.||February 2004 04-E-005|
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Japanese political reformers embrace an image of the modern political party system that was modern in the early twentieth century but problematic in the early twenty-first century. The idea that politics should be conducted under a two-party format and that voters should ignore issues of candidate personality and constituency service and make their voting choices on the basis of party manifestos does not reflect political reality in any modern democracy. Political reformers would be better advised to focus on how to strengthen the prime minister vis-a-vis his own cabinet and own party and how to restructure the relationship between bureaucrats and politicians. Constantly chasing after a model of the modern party system that is unrealistic and unrealizable only contributes to reinforcing public cynicism about the political process.