This chapter traces the evolution of Japanese postwar politics from the US Occupation-era governments to the present Abe Shinzō administration. It divides the seven decades into four stages: ideological confrontation between conservative and progressive parties; interest-centered politics; life-centered politics; and globalization politics. It also introduces key issues that have had major impacts of Japanese politics, including gender, local politics, post-industrialism, and privatization. It suggests, though, that despite these changes the apex of Japanese politics remains traditional elements that complicate political reform, which receive more detailed attention in this volume.