Abstract: Mark Ramseyer and Frances McCall Rosenbluth show how rational-choice theory can be applied to Japanese politics. Using the concept of principal and agent, Ramseyer and Rosenbluth construct a persuasive account of political relationships in Japan. In doing so, they demonstrate that political considerations and institutional arrangements reign in what, to most of the world, looks like an independently powerful bureaucratic state. Paperback edition, with a new Preface, 1997. Excerpts reprinted in: Comparative Law: Law and the Legal Process in Japan (Kenneth L. Port & Gerald Paul McAlinn, eds., 2d ed. 2003) and The Japanese Legal System: Text and Materials (Meryll Dean ed., 1997). Translated and republished as: Nihon seiji no keizaigaku: seiken seito no goriteki sentaku [The Economics of Japanese Politics: A Rational-Choice Approach to Political Administration and Political Parties] (Tokyo: Kobundo Press, 1995).