«by Dyron Keith Dabney A dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (Political Science) ...»
he faced were not as high as they were for other conservative independent hopefuls in that Tagawa was resigning. Tagawa’s 164,207 voters in 1990 should be available, and Matsuzawa could calculate that he only needed a bit over 100,000 to surpass the Communist Nakaji, who had drawn under 90,000 in 1990 (and only 102,000 in 1986).
However, he would not be competing directly with Nakaji; rather, the immediate threat would seem to be Harada, who had tripled his vote to 107,171 from 1986 to 1990 and would be fighting to gather in the old Tagawa votes himself. Matsuzawa did not have to specifically defeat Harada, but the combination of Harada and the formidable vote-getter Koizumi might well draw enough conservative votes to allow Nakaji to squeak back into office in the fifth slot.
In the event, the biggest worry for Matsuzawa for the 1993 general election was not Harada (who actually slipped back to 82,006 and sixth place—after which he returned to his old home town in Fukuoka and was elected to the Diet there). It was the other new candidate mentioned briefly above, Nagai Eiji. Nagai was well known for his family’s supermarket chain (actually called Nagai) in northern Kawasaki City. Like Matsuzawa, he had served in the prefectural assembly from one of the wards included in Kanagawa 2nd district. After three terms he left to run unsuccessfully as the LDP challenger for mayor of Kawasaki City in 1987 and 1989. He thereafter was farsighted enough to help Hosokawa organize the JNP and took a staff position in its nascent organization. Nagai with his strong local ties in Kanagawa 2nd district and the JNP with its fresh, rebellious image were made for each other. In the campaign, the JNP and JRP would compete for
Campaign Behavior: 1993 Lower House Election Matsuzawa had prepared for a wholly candidate-centered Type B strategy for the 1993 Lower House election before receiving the JRP endorsement. Mirroring his prefectural campaigns, he aggressively engaged in informal and formal public greetings and speeches, rallies, assemblies (gaitou enzetsu, enzetsukai and shuukai), and sound truck canvassing (gaisensha no yuusei) to generate electoral support. In 1993, Matsuzawa conducted over five hundred of these activities to get his name out in the district. The aim was to exemplify political vitality--the youthful and vibrant image of a rugby competitor tackling policy issues that Matsuzawa had earlier adopted in prefectural election campaigns was repeated for the national election campaign. From the kensei ni takkuru (Tackling Prefectural Politics) campaign slogan emerged kokkai ni takkuru (Tackling National Politics).
Matsuzawa’s image-based Type B election campaign made a virtue out of a deficit. The only kouenkai he had was in the Asao ward that he represented in the prefectural assembly, and his support from local merchant associations, local politicians and local trade unions—prerequisites for a Type A strategy—was modest at best. He could thus argue that he was unencumbered by traditional political ties. He would try to appeal mainly to independents voters and conservative “floating voters” typically identifying with the LDP, but not entirely loyal to any of its candidates competing in the district.
general election. How were his challenges and resources changed by the events of early 1993? First, the public mood certainly favored his sort of “fresh” candidacy over the established parties. Second, obtaining the official nomination of the new JRP brought him some funds, and a modicum of organizational support. Most important in that regard was an endorsement by the recently-established Japanese Trade Union Confederation (RENGO), which had departed from the traditional support that unions had given to the Socialist and Democratic Socialist parties to back reformist conservative parties in 1993.
Beyond that, the publicity about the creation of the JRP and the ability of Ozawa and other leaders to get media coverage certainly gave meaning to the JRP label in the minds of voters.
It should be noted, however, that in this regard Nagai probably had an advantage.
The JNP was not saddled with the political baggage of the JRP: all 52 JNP-endorsed candidates were first time challengers, while 33 of the 67 candidates endorsed by the Shinsei Party were former LDP incumbents. In the minds of everyday voters, the JNP was the purist of the new political parties, because its members had the greatest distance from the LDP—a powerful claim for Nagai.
The essence of strategy in Japan’s old MMD system was to figure out what geographical areas the necessary votes would come from. Matsuzawa estimated he would need at least something over 100,000 votes from the 900,000 or so total votes likely to be cast. His prefectural assembly district, Asao ward, had cast about 60,000 votes in 1990, and Tama, where he grew up, cast abut 80,000. He would hope to do well in those two wards, but could not expect to do as well in the more suburban cities on the
His key was certainly Kawasaki City beyond the two wards of his natural strength. Kawasaki had more than half the votes in the district. Matsuzawa was reasonably well known because of his long residence in the area, but beyond that Kawasaki had a substantial population in his primary target group: young, progressiveminded voters his own age, newly enfranchised voters (the age of voter eligibility is 20 years-old), non-partisan voters, unfaithful (“floating”) voters, politically disillusioned non-voters and educated voters.
In particular, Matsuzawa’s campaign staff spoke of two particular groups. One was the roughly 35 percent of eligible voters who had not turned out in 1986 or 1990, many disillusioned with politics. The other was new arrivals. The growth of young urban professional residents in portions of the district had ideologically “urbanized” many communities in the Kanagawa 2nd district. The district’s immediate proximity to Tokyo brought a more progressive ideological position that resembles its urban neighbor.
Increasing development of housing and commercial conveniences—such as retail shopping centers, medical facilities, leisure and entertainment outlets, public schools and mass-transportation infrastructure and services in the district over the years—attracted new residents (and helped keep young adults from moving out). Many of these newcomers appeared to be less politically and socially constrained by socio-cultural norms of behavior and attitudes that influenced their voting decisions compared with long-term inhabitants of the district.
political party Matsuzawa was confident he could secure generous support from these voters. He realized that long-term incumbents like Koizumi, Ichikawa, and Iwatare had developed personal networks of voters-- kouenkai and election keiretsu--that shielded them from the political weaknesses of their respective parties. He therefore defined his strategy in terms of party-, personality- and issue-centered appeals. The party-centered appeal was constructed around the new party image and rhetoric. The personalitycentered appeal was constructed around the new ideas and political integrity he would bring to the national legislature. Finally, the issue-centered appeal was constructed around advocacy for political reform (seiji kaikaku). To be fair, Matsuzawa’s policy message was not limited to political reform. Other concrete issues subsumed under the Tackling National Politics campaign theme were the decentralization of policy decisionmaking centered in Tokyo, greater national contribution to global peace-keeping, and educational reform for the 21st century, to name a few.
Though political reform was the most cogent campaign issue of the 1993 Lower House election, it was the campaign slogan taken up by most opposition candidates running in 1993. As a result it was not an issue in which Matsuzawa could easily distinguish himself from other candidates. Nevertheless, he emphasized the issue to attract young voters outraged by the political corruption endemic in the governing LDP.
Overall, the overwhelming focus on political reform among individual candidates and new political parties in 1993 itself favored candidates like Matsuzawa.
Matsuzawa won a seat in the Lower House rather easily. His hopes of mobilizing many non-voters, however, did not seem to work: in Kanagawa 2nd district as around the nation, turnout dropped off from the 1990 election (perhaps due in part to voters getting confused by all the new parties). The combined votes for the two incumbent LDP candidates, Koizumi and Harada, dropped from about 290,000 to 230,000, even though a strong conservative candidate and former LDP member, Tagawa, had dropped out. The CGP (Ichikawa), finishing third and JCP (Nakaji), finishing sixth, increased their votes somewhat, but the long-time JSP Diet member, Iwatare lost almost 60,000 votes to just over 100,000 and finished fifth place. Clearly just being in the opposition was not enough to do well (it should be noted that Iwatare had gained over 40,000 votes from 1986 to 1990, which was a very good year for the JSP).
The big winner was Matsuzawa’s new-party rival, the JNP’s Nagai. With his even more attractive party label along with his local background as a prefectural assemblyman and two-time candidate for mayor of Kawasaki, Nagai was the first-place finisher with 158,573 votes, over 9000 more than Koizumi. Matsuzawa finished fourth with 118,879 votes. Looking at the actual geographical breakdown (see Table 3.4), Matsuzawa, expectedly, garnered the greatest percentage from Asao ward, followed by Tama ward.51 He received 28.34 percent of the vote (17,990 votes) in Asao ward, and
15.25 percent of the vote (12,365 votes) in Tama ward in 1993. This strong showing of voter support for Matsuzawa in Asao ward illustrates the impact of prefectural assembly service and a “vertical” (i.e., geographically and demographically) concentrated orientation of his support base.
51 Table 3.4 offers the results of the 1993 Lower House election.
In 1993, Matsuzawa had been a new-face candidate, running against entrenched incumbents, in a large multi-member district. He relied mainly on the Type B strategy, depending on his personal image of youth and vitality, attachment to the popular issue of political reform, and the support of a new political party that had an attractive label but little in the way of organizational resources to persuade voters. In 1996, Matsuzawa was the only incumbent running, in a small single-member district. While certainly not abandoning any of his Type B tactics, this time he relied much more on organization.
We can deal first with the effects of the electoral reform passed in 1994, which meant that the 1996 election was run on an entirely new basis. The five multi-member districts of Kanagawa prefecture were divided into 17 geographically smaller, singlemember districts.52 The new single-member district in which Matsuzawa competed in the 1996 election, the Kanagawa 9th district, was carved from the Kanagawa 2nd district.
52 Five single-member districts—the 4th, 8th, 9th, 10th, and 11th districts—were created from the former 2nd district. An additional district, the Kanagawa 18th district, was established for the 2003 Lower House election. Based on a national census conducted in 2000, the Committee on Lower Election’s Boundary Demarcation recommended an additional district due to an increase in the population. Its promulgation date was July 31st, 2002, and enforced August 31st, the same year. The 18th district consists of Miyamae and Takatsu wards of Kawasaki City. These wards were previously part of the Kanagawa 8th and 9th districts, respectively. The Kanagawa 9th district today is composed only of Tama and Asao wards. These wards originally came from old 8th and 9th districts.
Note: Turnout figures presented in Table 3.4 are calculated according to valid votes cast.
Only a portion of its seven wards and four cities was represented in the new Kanagawa 9th district—Asao, Tama, and Takatsu wards. There was less ground to cover: the old Kanagawa 2nd district had been 155 square miles and the new Kanagawa 9th just 23 square miles. There were fewer people to reach: the Kanagawa 2nd district had 1,505,605 eligible voters in 1993, and the new Kanagawa 9th district just 376,780.53 The smaller district was more manageable for candidates in a sense, but the competition was more intense. Now only one would be elected. Matsuzawa had drawn 118,879 votes in 1993 (and the lowest winner had just over 100,000). In the new single member district, assuming roughly the same level of turnout, again at least about 100,000 votes—over a quarter of all the eligible voters—would be needed to capture a majority.
However, that target number of votes would be necessary only in a two-person race.
Although Duverger’s Law (Duverger, 1954) says that in a rational universe the number of candidates should be equal to the number of seats plus one, politicians are not always rational, and in any case it can take them some time after a reform to figure out the implications. In 1996, there were four serious candidates (the fifth candidate was not considered a threat), and Matsuzawa won rather easily with 72,147 votes (actually under 40 percent of the votes cast).
When the old district was split into five, for many incumbent Diet members and their parties it was not clear where they should run. Many conflicts among politicians occurred, and intensive mediation by party officials followed. For Matsuzawa the choice was simple—he was clearly strongest in his home-town area that made up Kanagawa 9th district. His party choice, the Frontier Party (NFP), in 1996 was a little more complicated 53 Voter eligibility in Japan begins at age 20. Voter registration for Japanese citizens is automatic upon attaining age 20.