Public Trust in Local Government in Japan: Continuity and Change after the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011
MASAO KIKUCHI, Meiji University
This article examines current levels of trust in government in Japan before and after the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011, with a particular focus on local government. The survey was conducted after the earthquake - four times, over four weeks - to measure levels of trust, and to identify the factors that form trust and distrust at national, prefectural and municipal levels of government. The data showed increased public trust in local government after the earthquake, and reduced trust in central government. The robust activities of local government may have led to the increased public support. Public trust in local government remained high one year after the earthquake. It is however not clear whether this level of public trust in local government can remain high as the present resource base is unsustainable, and is likely to be reduced.