"I will begin interpellation of the bill before us on the
Decentralization of Power.
In the recent 40th election, for the first
time in 38 years, the seat of political power changed to the joint
administration of Hosokawa, from administration of the Liberal-Democratic
This shift marks the greatest change in Japanese politics
since World War II.
You can think of the foundation of these changes as three
- Efficient use of a centralized bureaucracy by diligent people. This
was supported by
- the Liberal Democratic Party, and
- Economic cycles which worked together to successfully build Japan to
today's level of success.
However, today people are criticizing corruption within
the Liberal Democratic Party. At this time, people are driving a wedge
between these three steel angles. [Centralized power and some corruption]
may have been acceptable when Japan was developing, but people today require
a "much closer control of their politics" and expect "discussions to be held
with citizens and their wishes closely followed." Judgement is made on how
well this is done.
This has been my constant thought ever since I joined the
local assembly. The central bureaucracy could have continued to work as an
excellent public servant for Japan's reconstruction. Instead they gained
more and more authority. At length this led to a corpulent system, where
authorities seek to gain from ministries and government offices. This
extends into regulation and service areas � so that, if even a little of
their power is reduced, it is a big threat to them.
For example, during a large outcry for decentralization
of power, the Management and Coordination Agency, (March 1992), published
that an additional 225 regulations and requirements had been added to burden
our businesses in only one year. There were 10,942 such rules!
Moreover, there are now many more businesses since 1988.
Additional rules and businesses causes the bureaucratic system to grow so
huge and powerful that it is training elected politicians to answer to them
instead of their voters. This causes a problem to the government's
separation of powers (Administrative, Legislative, and Judicial branches.)
Indeed, to address this situation, the government formed
the "Rincho" (Temporary Administrative Reform Council) to reconsider the
bureaucratic system. Their first three reports were, 4 July 1991, 12
December 1991, and 19 June 1992. Rincho made a fine report. On the local
side, the entire ordinance introduced specific requirements from Kobe's
mayor down to each for each ministry or bureau in the city.