Political family dynasties are a staple part of Japanese politics. According to one study, Japan has the fourth highest number of dynastic politicians among democratic countries, after Thailand, the Philippines, and Iceland. As a result, many scholars have qualitatively studied how these political families are born and managed. In contrast to the wealth of qualitative studies on this subject, however, few quantitative studies on Japanese political dynasties focus on how voters view them. To understand this question, we conducted two nation-wide surveys. Our major findings are that while the majority of respondents dislike dynastic candidates, they also value certain attributes of those candidates, such as their political networks, their potential for ministerial appointments, and their ability to bring pork projects to their constituencies. These results fill a gap in benchmark information on dynastic politics in Japan and are a departure from existing studies that show Japanese voters are neutral regarding whether a candidate is from a dynastic family in voting decisions.
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