Ashida, Hitoshi

Ashida, Hitoshi,

1887–1959, Japanese politician. He studied law at Tokyo Imperial Univ. and worked in the ministry of foreign affairs before being elected to the Diet in 1932 as a member of the SeiyukaiSeiyukai
, Japanese political party, founded in 1900. It was derived, via the Kenseito (see Minseito) from the Jiyuto, organized by Taisuke Itagaki in 1881. Under the astute political leadership of Takashi Hara, it was the most powerful party in Japan from 1900 to 1921.
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 party. After the war, he was elected to the new Diet as a member of the Liberal party, which eventually merged with other parties to become the Liberal Democratic partyLiberal Democratic party
(LDP), Japanese political party. It began as the conservative Liberal party, which, under Shigeru Yoshida, became the dominant political force in Japan following World War II. In 1955 the Liberals merged with the newly created Democratic party.
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. Ashida was appointed foreign minister in 1947 under Tetsu KatayamaKatayama, Tetsu
, 1887–1978, Japanese statesman. He was a founder (1926) of the Social Democratic party. When the party was suppressed by the police, Katayama helped organize (1931) its successor, the Social Mass party.
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. As prime minister (Mar.–Oct., 1948) he led a coalition government that fell due to a bribery scandal; he later (1958) was cleared of all charges.
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