Long-serving mayors in Japan : an alternative leadership?

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Peer-Reviewed Research
  • SDG 16
  • Abstract:

    There are negative images if one particular politician stays for a long period in one public position. Long-serving is usually associated with nepotism, patron-client relations, corruption, low quality of public service and inefficiency. A survey in two Japanese city halls reveals that civil servants are of the opinion that personnel administration was fair and they were given freedom to implement policies under long-serving mayors. They could keep good relations with local legislative bodies. Thus civil servants did not experience strong pressure from the legislature’s members. Long-serving mayors could use their long-serving experience as political resource. There is an alternative style of leadership at the local government level in Japan. Maybe a bottom-up and consensus-based, i.e., invisible leadership, is old-fashioned. However, an alternative leadership style can provide an alternative, resolving complicated problems through real results.