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Deutsches Institut für Japanstudien


German Institute for Japanese Studies (DIJ)
3-3-6 Kudan Minami, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 102-0074, Japan
Fax +81-3-3222-5468


E-Democracy in East Asia? How the Internet Affects Politics and Civil Society in Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan

December 5, 2003

 New technologies offer new networking opportunities, which may affect participation by a broader audience. In which ways do such technologies – especially the Internet – affect political participation of citizens in elections and local government initiatives as well as in NGOs and citizens groups? Which particular tools are employed and how effective are they? Those were the questions that the participants of this workshop sought to tackle. It was part of a comparative research project on these issues, and dealt with the impact of the Internet on a variety of political actors, including political parties and candidates, mainstream and minorities, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), the vast majority of citizens and small citizens groups with special concerns.

In two panels, the situation in Japan was contrasted with that in two neighbouring countries, South Korea and Taiwan. Both of them are comparable to Japan in terms of access to new technologies and education – the debate centred on the similarities and differences in all these countries regarding Internet use and its impact on political life, and on possible explanations for this.
Apart from government policies regarding new technologies, other factors such as the state of democracy and the role of civil society in each country, and the ways they interact with new technologies, were considered in the discussion.

See also: Miscellanea 17



Opening Remarks

13:45 – 15:30
Panel I: The Internet and Japan’s Neighbours

Netizens and South Korean Politics. Citizens’ Power in a Presidential Election
- Slides

Eun-jeung Lee (Halle University, Germany)

The “Local” Dimension of Identity Construction in a Web-Based Political Organization: A Case Study of a Taiwanese Political Movement
- Slides

Peichi Chung (National Chiao Tung University, Taiwan)


Andreas Moerke

German Institute for Japanese Studies

16:00 – 18:00
Panel II: The Internet in Japanese and East Asian Politics

Internet Use by Different Political Actors in Japan. Summary of the Results of a Panel at AoIR (Association of Internet Researchers)
- Slides

Isa Ducke

German Institute for Japanese Studies

Leslie Tkach Kawasaki (Tsukuba University)

Panel Discussion
Discussant: Kumi Yokoe (

Harald Conrad

German Institute for Japanese Studies

Snacks and opportunity for individual discussion

15:30 – 16:00
Coffee Break

Related Research Projects

Politics and the Internet

Japan in Asia