Research Activities
The Decline of the Technocrats in Japanese Educational Policy?: Exploring the Loss of Ministry Autonomy and its Implications for Recent Policy Trends
2st Seminar of Group 3, 2008
■Speaker :Jeremy Rappleye (Researcher, Oxford University and Tokyo University)
■Place :B103-104, Chikou-kan, Seta Campus, Ryukoku University
■Date :14:00-17:00, Thursday, June 5, 2008
■Number :080605
Since Japan's phenomenal rise from the postwar ashes, there has traditionally been great faith placed in technocrats in the Ministry of Education to chart a sound educational course. This faith has traditionally been underpinned by a degree of Ministry autonomy from larger political forces. However, beginning in the 1980s there has been a progressive erosion of the strength and autonomy of the once strong Ministry that is both a result of and contributor to changes in the immobilist politics equation described by Schoppa (1991). Today, the Ministry stands with far less power than it once had with significant repercussions for the ways educational policy is formulated and therefore what types of policies have emerged in recent years. Economic, social, and political developments in the 1990s in general and the decentralization reforms under the Koizumi administration in particular have greatly changed the way educational policy is negotiated at the highest levels. This paper examines the various factors that have contributed to the loss of Ministry autonomy, power, and control as part of its wider attempt to trace the origins of recent educational policy trends.