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NCJ Number: 186525 Find in a Library
Title: Controlling State Crime in Japan: A Case Study of Political Corruption (From Varieties of State Crime and Its Control, P 181-198, 2000, Jeffrey Ian Ross, ed. -- See NCJ-186517)
Author(s): David M. Potter
Date Published: 2000
Page Count: 18
Sponsoring Agency: Criminal Justice Press/Willow Tree Press
Sale Source: Criminal Justice Press/Willow Tree Press
United States of America
Type: Collected Work
Format: Book (Softbound)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Political corruption has been a feature of Japan's political system since World War II.
Abstract: The period after World War II reformed and democratized Japanese politics in many ways, for example, the 1947 constitution placed the Japanese Diet at the center of the formal political system and in theory removed important powers from the bureaucracy. However, the movement of power to the Japanese Diet probably served in part to foster corruption in post-war politics since it created a group of policy-makers who would be subject to lobbying by private sector interests and dependent on those interests to fund the expensive political activities necessary to stay in office. At the present time, corruption in Japanese electoral politics involves violations of campaign finance laws and related bribery and tax laws. Further, big business has been a source of campaign finance as long as political parties have existed in Japan. Political corruption in Japan is a particularly interesting case because of what it suggests about law as a sanction in a non-western context. The criminal justice system in Japan is reluctant to rely on formal sanctions, and companies engaged in illegal behavior are rarely punished severely. The reluctance of the criminal justice system to enforce corruption laws also makes it difficult to assess the extent of political crime. The likelihood of going to jail for political corruption is so low that imprisonment does serve as a sufficient deterrent when compared to the expected benefits of political corruption. In addition, Japanese citizens tend to tolerate corruption by elected officials because these officials share the benefits of their illegal behavior with constituents. Electoral reforms to prevent corruption are discussed, although the effectiveness of such reforms is questionable. 8 notes
Main Term(s): Foreign crime prevention
Index Term(s): Corporate crimes; Corruption of public officials; Crime control policies; Crime in foreign countries; Foreign criminal justice systems; Foreign laws; Japan; Political crimes; State-corporate crime; White collar crime; World criminology
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