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Regulatory Governance and the Implementation of Universal Service: A Comparative Study of the US and Japan
Unformatted Document Text:  Tracking Number: ICA-1-11804 Regulatory Governance and Universal Service 18 Regulatory Governance, Regulatory Incentives and Universal Service So far I have examined the implementation of universal service in the US and Japan focusing on how the costs are financed. Now I turn to analyze each country’s political system and its impact on universal service. Many people agree that the United States and Japan are interesting and exceptional political entities. The US has long been regarded as the most prominent and longest-lived example of presidentialism. The US experience with “divided government” virtually sets it apart as a system in which the divided sovereignty inherent in the constitutional system of separated powers makes the very idea of identifying the “government” problematic. Japan, while possessing a parliamentary form of government, practices electoral politics that are quite distinct from those of most other parliamentary systems. Diet members spend lavishly on their reelection efforts, and Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) members participate in the policy-making process. At the same time, the Japanese bureaucracy often is said to be very powerful and the cabinet very weak, relative to bureaucrats and cabinets in other parliamentary systems (Cowhey & McCubbins, 1995, p.1). The US case: Pro-competitive implementation If we look at regulatory governance of the two countries more specifically, in the US policy authority is divided between the state and federal governments through the Constitution (Cherry & Wildman, 1999). Also, the authority to make law is shared by the legislative and a separately chosen executive and the president also has constitutional role in proposing legislation, holding a veto over all legislative proposals drafted by Congress. Further, the US Congress rarely considers and almost never passes a presidential proposal without significantly altering it (Cowhey & McCubbins, pp.4-5). An important implication of the US system, with bicameralism and an independent, nationally elected executive leader, is that it leads to more explicit conflict among elected officials, which in turn creates a more formalized relationship with the bureaucracy, and a greater reliance on the courts to review bureaucratic decisions and to resolve policy disputes. For example, in telecommunications, US regulatory decision-making is procedurally complex, and is carefully scrutinized—often reversed—by the courts (Noll & Rosenbluth, 1995, p.122). Furthermore, the US policy-making structure sets up multiple obstacles to policy change. The House, the Senate, and the president share policy-making authority, and overlapping checks ensure that no one branch will monopolize power (Cowhey & McCubbins, p.7). In terms of electoral system both the state legislatures and the federal House of Representatives are elected from single-member districts, with the winner chosen by plurality in

Authors: Park, Namkee.
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Tracking Number: ICA-1-11804 Regulatory Governance and Universal Service 18
Regulatory Governance, Regulatory Incentives and Universal Service
So far I have examined the implementation of universal service in the US and Japan focusing on
how the costs are financed. Now I turn to analyze each country’s political system and its impact
on universal service.
Many people agree that the United States and Japan are interesting and exceptional
political entities. The US has long been regarded as the most prominent and longest-lived
example of presidentialism. The US experience with “divided government” virtually sets it apart
as a system in which the divided sovereignty inherent in the constitutional system of separated
powers makes the very idea of identifying the “government” problematic. Japan, while
possessing a parliamentary form of government, practices electoral politics that are quite distinct
from those of most other parliamentary systems. Diet members spend lavishly on their reelection
efforts, and Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) members participate in the policy-making process.
At the same time, the Japanese bureaucracy often is said to be very powerful and the cabinet very
weak, relative to bureaucrats and cabinets in other parliamentary systems (Cowhey &
McCubbins, 1995, p.1).
The US case: Pro-competitive implementation
If we look at regulatory governance of the two countries more specifically, in the US policy
authority is divided between the state and federal governments through the Constitution (Cherry
& Wildman, 1999). Also, the authority to make law is shared by the legislative and a separately
chosen executive and the president also has constitutional role in proposing legislation, holding a
veto over all legislative proposals drafted by Congress. Further, the US Congress rarely considers
and almost never passes a presidential proposal without significantly altering it (Cowhey &
McCubbins, pp.4-5). An important implication of the US system, with bicameralism and an
independent, nationally elected executive leader, is that it leads to more explicit conflict among
elected officials, which in turn creates a more formalized relationship with the bureaucracy, and a
greater reliance on the courts to review bureaucratic decisions and to resolve policy disputes. For
example, in telecommunications, US regulatory decision-making is procedurally complex, and is
carefully scrutinized—often reversed—by the courts (Noll & Rosenbluth, 1995, p.122).
Furthermore, the US policy-making structure sets up multiple obstacles to policy change. The
House, the Senate, and the president share policy-making authority, and overlapping checks
ensure that no one branch will monopolize power (Cowhey & McCubbins, p.7).
In terms of electoral system both the state legislatures and the federal House of
Representatives are elected from single-member districts, with the winner chosen by plurality in


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