The purpose of this paper is to analyze recent Japanese corruption prevention mechanisms and assess the efforts of the Japanese government in winning public trust.
This paper discusses public sector corruption in Japan at an institutional level through a study of its features and current status. It then analyzes and evaluates the effectiveness of corruption prevention measures and the public perceptions of these measures. The paper concludes with a discussion on whether such measures can be adopted by other countries.
Recent preventive measures in Japan are effective in decreasing corruption opportunities, but not in enhancing the public trust of the government. Major findings are: first, Japan is the only Asian country without a dedicated anti-corruption agency (ACA); second, there is more emphasis on corruption prevention in the anti-corruption measures; third, the government is concerned with initiating measures to prevent the further erosion of public trust when corruption occurs; fourth, while preventive measures such as public disclosure and whistle-blower protection acts are in place, public awareness of their existence is still lacking and the usage of these systems is limited; fifth, more efforts are placed on prevention through the promotion of government transparency and accountability and public sector ethics education rather than penalizing the corrupt offenders; and sixth, though efforts to minimize amakudari practices are made, lack of political will and its sustainability prevents further reform.
This paper will be useful for scholars, policy-makers, and anti-corruption practitioners interested in learning how Japanese government practices prevent corruption.
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