Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Philosophy (MPHIL)


Political Sciences

First Advisor

Prof. Brian Bridges

Second Advisor

Dr. C.P Chan


The shift in both the political and economic situations of Japan in the post- 1993s caught the attention of observers because the abrupt changes were unparalleled in other Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries. Politically, a single conservative party had dominated Japan’s electoral and government spheres in a way unmatched in any other industrialized democracy two-to-one majorities over the next largest party; complete control of all cabinet posts; and a relatively large influence of government over the economy. Economically too, Japan’s rapid growth had also been without parallel and had put it at the head of the countries called the “Asian dragons”. The national growth rates of Japan were also double those of other OECD countries in the postwar period; labour productivity in manufacturing and industry was far greater; unemployment and inflation were dramatically lower; saving rates of people remained consistently higher; and overseas investments and holdings exploded more dramatically. All these successes had shocked the rest of the world.

However, the loss of the dominance by the LDP and the end of the high growth of Japan's economy in the early 1990s contributed to what many Japanese have come to call the 'lost decade' and resulted in serious debates over the political and economic direction of Japan.

This thesis uses a qualitative research methodology. A theoretical model of regime change will be used to analyze the political and economic shift of Japan.

Recommended Citation

Tang, S. O. F. (2005). Japan: Regime change in the "lost decade" (Master's thesis, Lingnan University, Hong Kong). Retrieved from