Comparing Political Systems of two countries

How could the political systems of two developed countries in the western world have so very diversified features? The two countries in question are Japan and the United Arab Emirates. There are very significant differences in the political systems of these two countries though they do not lack various areas with very close similarities.

Though both countries separate religion and the state in their ruling systems as well as their political arena, it is important to mention that whereas UAE is dominated by Muslims, most of the people in Japan do not profess or identify themselves with any kind of religion.

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Religion in one way or another influences the political system either directly or indirectly. The influence of the mass media in both countries again differs significantly since in the UAE, it is mainly controlled by the regime in power whereas Japan mass media is independent.

The mass media in the United Arab Emirates like in other Arab countries have very little freedom since they are mainly influenced by the regime in power (Rugh 60). We may refer to the kind of press in this country as a royalist press since, though privately owned, they are very loyal and supportive to the regime in power.

Their most common kind of mass media is the daily newspaper whose emergence in the country dates back to 1930’s when such papers as al-Bilad and al-Madina started flourishing. This has really affected the influence of mass media in the country, bearing in mind that this is the most convenient channel that the public airs their views against the leaders thus enabling them to rectify.

The features of mass media in Japan have been quite different. It is mainly owned by private investors and independent from the ruling power. It is the most accessible tool for both the powerful and the weaker groups in the region, which gives them an opportunity to air their views.

This has contributed a lot to its influence on the political arena in Japan ensuring that they rectify the areas pinpointed by the mass media. A survey carried out on the system revealed that it has introduced the ideas and principles of the most ignored interest groups in the society and has by remaining an outsider influenced the polical system towards being more pluralistic (Willnat & Aw 62).

The level of decentralization is another very critical area to be considered in these two nations. Both of these nations practice a decentralized structure of governing system though at different levels. Until 1990, Japan had centralized its political and administrative system whereby its powers had been concentrated in the capital cities.

This system changed recently in the 1990’s whereby the nation initiated its own policies on decentralization and regionalization which was mainly targeting and responding to domestic concerns which were prevalent since the 1970’s. Before decentralization took place in Japan, there was gradual rise in excessive centralization in the nation which was characterized by dominance of castle cities and Lords over their hinterlands and town people respectively (Chen 125).

On the other hand, decentralization and political accommodation in the United Arab Emirates are embedded in the structure and ethic of the state. The process took root recently in this considering that it has developed far much later in the twentieth century compared to the developed countries which embraced decentralization over 500 years ago. It has been a challenging procedure to adopt but it has resulted to benefits. Effective service delivery has triggered the gradual process in UAE (Ahmad & Brosio 14)

Bureaucracy has been another common area between these two countries. In both cases, the powerful and the elite have commonly been in control of most areas in the nations than the elected officials (USA 1).

In Japan the country’s strong central bureaucracy have come up with thousands of rules and regulations that the ordinary citizens have to abide by bearing in mind that these are not the elected officials in the nation (Pierre 118). The Japanese bureaucracy mainly composed of the brightest and the best, mostly the products of the country’s prestigious universities, control over the country’s 334, 000 administrative positions. They mostly identify with important politicians and executives (Hays 3).

In the United Arab Emirates, people have always asked whether bureaucracy is really alive. However, surveys, studies and research work have shown that bureaucracy is far from being dead though some bureaucratic characteristics have been in decline and the process has been going through changes. In the modern society, there is a degree of bureaucracy since most large scale organizations apply the system to carry out most of their activities (Remenyi 114).

How could the political systems of two developed countries in the western world have so very diversified features? In conclusion, it is very clear that the political systems in Japan and the United Arab Emirates have their own similarities and differences. Most similarities are evident from decentralization and bureaucracy while differences have been portrayed in religion and mass media.

Works Cited

Ahmad, Ehtisham & Brosio, Giorgio. Handbook of Fiscal Federalism. Massachusetts & Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing, 2006. Print.

Chen, Xiangming. As borders bend: transnational spaces on the Pacific Rim. New York: Lanham, Rowman & Littlefield, 2005. Print.

Hay, Jeffrey. Bureaucracy in Japan. Facts and Details, 2009. Web. 07 April, 2011.

Pierre, John. Bureaucracy in the modern state: an introduction to comparative public. Cheltenham, Edward Elgar Publishing, 1995. Print.

Remenyi, D. European Conference on IS Management, Leadership and Governance, University of Reading, UK, 7-8 July 2005. UK, Academic Conferences Limited, 2005. Print.

Rugh, William. Arab mass media: newspapers, radio, and television in Arab politics. Westport, Greenwood Publishing Group, 2004. Print.

USA. Doing Business and Investing in United Arab Emirates Guide. International Business Publications, 2007. Washington: Int’l Business Publications. Print.

Willnat, Lars & Aw, Annette. Political Communication in Asia. New York, Taylor & Francis, 2009. Print.


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