ABSTRACT

Although this thesis has dealt thus far with only one of the actors of the conservative camp, it has already revealed significant rifts in the conservative consensus on education reform. The conflicts within the LDP alone were shown to be substantial enough to threaten the government reform initiatives. The party, though committed to a basic set of education reform goals, was often divided on the question of how these goals should be pursued: party reformists advocating greater nationalism in the schools had to deal with ‘doves’ in their own party, while reformists like Nakasone advocating the diversification, ‘flexibilization’ and liberalization of the education system encountered strong opposition from LDP educationists closely tied to the status quo. With the conservative camp already thus divided, the addition to the scene of the other major conservative actor-the bureaucracy-reveals an even more complex set of conflicts.