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The postwar era has witnessed a pluralizing trend in Japan, but small sets of narrowly-focused interest groups still dominate policymaking. Over 200 small consultative councils (shingikai), composed of business people, bureaucrats, scholars, journalists, union members, and others, deliberate on virtually every aspect of public policy. This book reviews their functions and operations, and presents three case studies of specific governmental decisions involving the use of shingikai in the late 1980s.
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