The Breakdown of the Iron Triangle in the Process of Japan’s Trinity Reform: An Application of the Multiple Streams Framework to Compare Stakeholder Dynamics Inherent in Policy Change


  • Bui Thi Thu Linh International University of Japan
  • Phung Thi Thu Ha International University of Japan
  • Ko Ko Aung International University of Japan
  • Nguyen Thi Hong Nhung International University of Japan
  • Seunghoo Lim International University of Japan



Trinity Reform, multiple streams, financial changes in intergovernmental relationships, policy entrepreneur, iron triangle, stakeholder dynamics


To decentralize Japan’s fiscal system, the Trinity Reform, which was implemented from 2003 to 2007, reformed (i) the transference of tax revenue sources from the central to local governments, (ii) local allocation tax, and (iii) national subsidies and grants. This study drew on the multiple streams framework in public policy—including problem, policy, and politics—to understand the financial change process in intergovernmental relationships and the successes of Prime Minister Koizumi as a policy entrepreneur in breaking the iron triangle of the Liberal Democratic Party politicians, ministry bureaucrats, and local governments to administer the fiscal decentralization and local autonomy reform.

Author Biographies

  • Japanese Grant Aid for Human Resource Development Scholar, Public Management and Policy Analysis Program

  • Japan Program Scholar, Public Management and Policy Analysis Program

  • Japanese Grant Aid for Human Resource Development Scholar, Public Management and Policy Analysis Program

  • Japanese Grant Aid for Human Resource Development Scholar, Public Management and Policy Analysis Program

  • Assistant Professor


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