This study investigates the relationship between the Japanese climate change policy network and its policy output based on a face-to-face questionnaire survey. During 2012 and 2013, a total of 72 organizations active in Japanese climate change policy-making, such as ministries, political parties, mass media, industrial organizations, individual companies, and NGOs, were interviewed. Each organization was asked to evaluate several climate change mitigation policies to reveal its underlying policy preferences. According to the factor analysis, two factors emerged from the evaluation. The first factor revealed inversely related preferences for voluntary technology-oriented measures (voluntary action plan and nuclear energy) or measurements to bring about socioeconomic structural change (carbon tax and emission trade). The second factor was related to the evaluation of tax exemptions and subsidies to encourage the growth of renewable energy and energy efficient products. To analyze the relationship between these policy preferences and the policy network, we asked the respondent organizations about which bodies they cooperated with and took advice from, when setting their own policy positions. We also enquired about which organizations had sufficient power to influence policy outcomes. Next, we applied the block-modeling method of social network analysis and observed a triple-pole structure in the organizational support network. In this network structure, two blocks consisting of the Ministry of the Environment and the Japan Business Federation (Keidanren) are on either side of the middle block that consists of the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry; the two side blocks have support ties to the middle block. This triple-pole structure strongly affects how Japanese climate policy outcome is brought about. Because each block has no distinctively different policy preferences regarding tax exemptions and subsidies, namely policies in factor 2 of the factor analysis, these policies were applied first. However, the policies were insufficient for reducing greenhouse gases in order to meet the target in the first commitment period stipulated by the Kyoto Protocol. Moreover, related tax exemptions and subsidies had limits for providing further fiscal stimulus. Consequently, other types of policies, namely policies in factor 1, were required to achieve the target. Nevertheless, the above mentioned three entities expressed considerable differences regarding the implementation of these policies. Finally, voluntary action and nuclear energy were selected under the influence of the more powerful Keidanren Block. It is still important to remember that this block cannot avoid implementing this mitigation policy in order to prevent the other two blocks forming a coalition and applying other policies, even if it is reluctant to participate in any particular policy measure. As a result of the power balance among the three blocks in the policy network, Japanese climate change policy consists of a combination of tax exemptions, subsidies, voluntary actions, and nuclear energy promotions.

Satoh, Keiichi
The Japanese Climate Change Policy Network : The Relationship between a Triple-Pole Structured Organizational Support Network and Policy Output [in Japanese]
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Date / Year
Jan 2014
Journal of Environmental Sociology