Major political corruption scandals were a common occurrence in postwar Japan. After the 1990s, policy failure scandals generated by bureaucratic rather than political corruption became more common. Among the crucial ingredients in generating policy failure scandals was the role of interparty competition and the functioning of a two-party system.
This article argues that the use of campaign finance regulations and electoral rules by political parties significantly shaped the results of the 2005 general election and the battle over postal privatization in Japan. How the Liberal Democratic Party responds to the reverberations of the conflict between the so-called ““rebels”” and ““assassins”” is likely to affect its electoral fortunes in the next lower house election.