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(mēn'sā`tō), Japanese political party. It is usually called the Liberal party in English. Founded by Shigenobu OkumaOkuma, Shigenobu
, 1838–1922, Japanese statesman. He was an early supporter of the emperor and entered the Meiji government as finance minister in 1869. In 1876 he had the annual stipends of the former feudal aristocracy changed to payments in lump sums, with great saving
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 in 1882 as the Kaishinto, or Progressive party, it was dissolved in 1884, reformed into the Shimpoto, and merged with the Jiyuto (see 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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) in 1898 to form the Kenseito. Okuma later took his group out of the Kenseito and set up the Kenseihonto, which became the Kokuminto in 1910. A faction of the Kokuminto joined Taro Katsura's Doshikai in 1913 and became the nucleus of the Kenseikai. In 1927 the Kenseikai was reorganized as the Minseito. The cabinets of Takaaki Kato (1924–26), Reijiro Wakatsuki (1926–27, 1931), and Osachi Hamaguchi (1929–31) were Kenseikai or Minseito governments. All parties were dissolved in 1940. After World War II, the Minseito reemerged under the leadership of Shigeru Yoshida and Ichiro Hatoyama as the Liberal party, one of the two strong conservative groups in postwar Japan. It merged with the Democrats in 1955 to form 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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. The Minseito was traditionally identified with the Mitsubishi financial interests.


See P. Duus, Party Rivalry and Political Change in Taishō Japan (1968).

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(People’s Government Party), Japanese political party of the bourgeoisie and landlords, in existence from June 1, 1927, to Aug. 15, 1940. The party represented the interests of monopoly capital, the major landlords, and the monarchist bureaucracy; its leaders were closely associated with the Mitsubishi cartel. In 1940 the Minseito Party voluntarily disbanded and its members joined the Imperial Rule Assistance Association, a newly created fascist bureaucratic organization.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
The group chose 20 victims but succeeded in killing only two, former Finance Minister and head of the Rikken Minseito, Junnosuke Inoue, and Director-General of Mitsui Holding Company, Dan Takuma.
Koiso included the representatives of the ex political parties Minseito and Seyukai in his cabinet and dissolved the Association of serving the throne to create the impression of having been renounced at the military-fascist political structure (45).
This reminds us of political developments in the Taisho (1912-1926) and early Showa (1926-1989) eras, when major parties, including Rikken Seiyukai (the Friends of Constitutional Government Party) and Rikken Minseito (the Constitutional Democratic Party), alternately held the reins of government and dissolved the House of Representatives rather than answer questions posed by their rivals.
(189) Certain business organizations such as the Osaka Industrial Association and the Tokyo Federation of Business Associations joined the opposition Kenseikai (later renamed Minseito) party and the liberal bureaucrats in the powerful Home Ministry in their support of labor reform.
Labor's cause in Japan was at first championed by the opposition party and then by the liberal Kenseikai (later reorganized as the Minseito) government elected in 1924 and 1929.
The Minseito was the more nearly "orthodox" and "market-oriented" of the two major Japanese political parties of the same period.