Urban policy in Japan gained greater significance in the late 1960s. In 1968, a new City Planning Law was enacted, and urban policy was a prominent issue in that year's House of Councillors election. Scholars have regarded the ruling conservative party's fear of a threat to its hegemony as the primary force driving this increased attention to urban policy. This article examines the political factors surrounding the reforms enacted, concluding that politicians actually underestimated the degree of public interest in urban policy and made largely empty political gestures to appease urban dwellers while responding more readily to agricultural interests.
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