My study investigates whether there has been a relative decline in the position of the Japanese bureaucracy in their relationship with politicians in recent decades. My hypothesis is that the loss of bureaucratic influence has been a function of the declining position of former bureaucrats within the ruling Liberal Democrat Party (LDP), and that politicians who were able to enter the Diet at a young age (due to hereditary recruitment) have gained influence. Their seniority has placed them at an advantage in promotion to key party and government posts. I use probit and logit analysis of LDP cabinet and Diet members (1955-2003) to demonstrate the decline of former bureaucrats within the LDP in terms of their overall numbers and their occupancy of key posts.
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