Decentralized policy-making power in Japan had developed under the long reign of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP). In the1990s, institutional changes were introduced, fundamentally altering Japans modern political landscape. Tomohito Shinoda tracks these slow yet steady changes to today in the operation of and tensions between Japans political parties and the publics behavior in Japanese elections, as well as in the governments ability to coordinate diverse policy preferences and respond to political crises.Electoral reform in 1994 resulted in the selection of Junichiro Koizumi, an anti-mainstream politician, as prime minister in 2001, initiating a power shift to the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) and ending LDP rule. Shinoda also details these government and administrative institutional changes and reveals how Prime Minister Koizumi took advantage of such developments to practice strong policymaking leadership. He also outlines the new set of institutional initiatives introduced by the DPJ government and their impact on policymaking, illustrating the importance of balanced centralized institutions and bureaucratic support.