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Readers familiar with Giovanni Sartori's Parties and Party Systems (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1976) will recognize my indebtedness to him for my conceptualization of party systems . 3. Samuel Huntington , 'Democracy 's Third Wave ', Journal of Democracy 2, no . 2 (Spring 1991), 27. 4. For an analysis of the continuity between the economic structure 42 Asia's New World Order established in wartime Japan and the postwar economy, see Noguchi Yukio, 1940nen no Taisei, Saraba 'Senji Keizai' (Tokyo: Tayo Keizai Shinposha, 1995) .

One-party dominance concentrated policy making within the LOP organization, especially its Policy Affairs Research Council, and fostered a close and relatively smooth relationship between political leaders and bureaucrats. Under this system the Diet and its array of committees played virtually no role in the formulation of policy. The end of oneparty dominance brought with it the collapse of this decision making system. What has resulted instead is an impressive degree of paralysis in Japanese government decision making processes.

I find no evidence to support the argument that there is a particular Asian penchant for a one-party dominant political system, or that such a system reflects distinctive Asian cultural values. In contrast to those who see a preference for harmony and consensus as underwriting one-party dominance, I argue that one-party dominance was the product of the lack of consensus in Japanese society on fundamental issues of both domestic politics and foreign policy. Japan's one-party dominant system lost its dynamism and eventually collapsed as a result of the resolution of the deep divisions in the Japanese polity.

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