The Japanese system of Local Administration has developed steadily in the quantitative sense, accompanied by the long continued rapid economic growth of the country. Through this process, Japan has caught up with the leading countries of the world economically. It is said that national minimum standards have been attained already in every field of society.
In order to realize a high quality of national life, we now face for the first time in the history of our country the need to make qualitative changes in our society.
In these rapidly changing times, denoted by such keywords as decentralization and deregulation, we are looking to a "third revolution", following the Meiji Restoration and the Postwar Administrative Reform, to form a new national system for the new era.
Perhaps our country will have to face a drastic reform of the system before the beginning of the 21st century.
This paper aims to show some part of how Japan's system of local government is changing in such vital times.
Topics 1 Decentralization, Administrative Reform of Local Government
Decentralization is regarded as the third administrative reform of our country in the modern era, following the Meiji Restoration and the Administrative Reform after World War II. After the fourth recommendations of the Committee for the Promotion of Decentralization, decentralization is in the process of implementation. In 1998, the Decentralization Promotion Plan was formulated and full-scale implementation is under way. Decentralization is also indispensable in order to bring about effective administrative reorganization. Therefore, the Government intends to tackle the implementation of decentralization with determination.
On the other hand, the local administrative system needs to be reformed into one suitable for a decentralized society. We need to construct a simple and efficient local administrative system which will enable local authorities to provide flexible services to meet the demands of local residents. At the same time, local governments need to reinforce their financial and administrative ability through voluntary mergers. All of these moves will be a part of the structural reform of the administrative and financial system of our country. The Government is tackling the promotion of decentralization and the reform of the local administrative system with a will.
The Significance of promoting Decentralization and the Governments Approach
〜Why is decentralization of necessary?
What is meant by the promotion of decentralization
Working to bring about local self-government
・Local self-government is the starting point of democracy.
・Local self-government is guaranteed under Japan's postwar constitution.
The basis of local self-government (primary purpose of local self-government).