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Definition of Koenkai

Koenkai Definition from Sports Dictionaries & Glossaries
Support group, sponsors. Some wrestlers or stables have sponsors that fund certain activities
Koenkai Definition from Encyclopedia Dictionaries & Glossaries
English Wikipedia - The Free Encyclopedia
Koenkai (後援会; engl. "local support groups") are an invaluable tool of Japanese Diet members, especially of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP). These groups serve as pipelines through which funds and other support are conveyed to legislators and through which the legislators can distribute favors to constituents in return. To avoid the stringent legal restrictions on political activity outside of designated campaign times, koenkai sponsor year-round cultural, social, and "educational" activities. In the prewar years, having an invincible, or "iron," constituency depended on gaining the support of landlords and other local notables. These people delivered blocks of rural votes to the candidates they favored. In the more pluralistic postwar period, local bosses were much weaker, and building a strong constituency base was much more difficult and costly. Tanaka Kakuei used his "iron constituency" in rural Niigata Prefecture to build a formidable, nationwide political machine. But other politicians, like Ito Masayoshi, were so popular in their districts that they could refrain, to some extent, from money politics and promote a "clean" image. Koenkai remained particularly important in the overrepresented rural areas, where paternalistic, old-style politics flourished and where the LDP, despite disaffection during the late 1980s over agricultural liberalization policies, had its strongest support.

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