future directions of the theory and practice of public policy analysis in Japan
The primary purpose of this final chapter is to enumerate and unravel the challenges of public policy analysis as an intellectual and practical activity in Japan. This is achieved by drawing on the numerous examples explored in previous chapters, and bringing together the analysis made to outline future directions for public policy analysis in Japan. The Japanese governments, both at the central and local levels, have never been indifferent to enhancing their employees’ skills in relation to policy analysis. Much effort has been made in developing more and more public policy programmes to foster and upgrade students’ practical analytical skills. The urgent need to activate a policy market is now widely acknowledged. Still, policy analysis has not yet been established as a fully-fledged profession in Japan, and consequently its application has been quite limited. Its limited application and poor performance might be mainly due to the insufficient understanding, on the part of governmental, market, and civic sectors, of the potential contributions policy analysis can make for improved policymaking and policy implementation. Some responsibility for the unfortunate state of policy analysis in Japan, however, must be borne by the alleged policy analysts themselves.
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