Leonard Schoppa is Professor Politics at the University of Virginia and is currently serving as Associate Dean for the Social Sciences in the College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. He is the author of Race for the Exits: The Unraveling of Japan’s System of Social Protection (Cornell, 2006); Bargaining with Japan: What American Pressure Can and Cannot Do (Columbia, 1997); and Education Reform in Japan (Routledge, 1991). His articles have appeared in Foreign Affairs, International Organization, and Comparative Political Studies.
The project, by examining the role of foreign pressure (gaiatsu) in shaping Japanese policy outcomes in issue areas targeted by the U.S. during the Structural Impediments Initiative (SII), seeks to identify when and how foreign pressure influences public policy in Japan. During the course of the SII talks, the U.S. sought major changes in several areas but was successful in winning concessions in only some of the cases. This record suggests that gaiatsu can have significant effects on Japanese public policy--but not in all cases. 1he study is designed to explore the ways in which the application of strong foreign pressure by the US (in at least some cases) alters the Japanese policy process, the positions of major actors in the process, and ultimately policy outcomes. Furthermore, by comparing the results of relatively successful and unsuccessful SII cases, it seeks to identify the conditions under which foreign pressure is most and least successful.