Seminar Series

Wedge Issue Politics in Japan: Why Not Revising the Constitution Helps the Pro-Revision Ruling Party

Thursday, 11 May 2023 | 9:00 - 10:00 (JST)
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  • Ko Maeda Department of Political Science, University of North Texas
  • Kenneth McElwain Associate Professor, Institute of Social Science, The University of Tokyo

Japan’s opposition has been fragmented into many parties, which has been giving an electoral advantage to the LDP. I argue and demonstrate that the issue of constitutional revision is working as a wedge issue that is preventing the opposition supporters from getting unified under a single major opposition party. This finding implies that the LDP is better off electorally if it raises the salience of the constitution issue but does not achieve the goal of revising it.


Ko Maeda (Ph.D., Michigan State University, 2005) is an associate professor of political science at the University of North Texas, specializing in elections, party competition, and political institutions. His work has appeared in journals such as the Journal of Politics, British Journal of Political Science, Comparative Political Studies, Electoral Studies, and the Journal of Theoretical Politics.