The Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) has dominated Japanese politics since its foundation in 1955. The party's ability to support the interests of small farmers and its commitment to the middle-class through redistributive economic policies have been regarded as among the primary factors leading to its prolonged hegemony. Yet, the LDP has occasionally relied on non-economic political appeals addressing rather conservative issues such as Japan's military force and the country's traditional values. These appeals have significantly intensified under the premiership of Junichirō Koizumi and his successor Shinzō Abe, whose authoritative leadership styles and nationalist agendas reveal the relevance of non-economic values. This study focuses on the role of authoritarian values in shaping vote choice in twenty-first century Japan. Previously emphasized in The Japanese Voter, the authority-liberty dimension has gradually lost prominence in recent models of voting behavior, where socio-economic factors have had a central role in explaining vote choice. Our inquiry places new emphasis on this value dimension and provides evidence for the enduring relevance of individual authoritarian dispositions in models of vote choice.
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