Ozaki, Yukio

Ozaki, Yukio

(yo͞o`kēō ōzä`kē), 1859–1954, Japanese statesman, the outstanding liberal of late 19th-century and early 20th-century Japan. A newspaper editor, he helped 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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 form the Kaishinto (Progressive party) in 1881. He was a member of the Seiyukai in 1900 and its leader in 1913; he later joined (1921) the Kenseikai. Ozaki was elected to every diet from 1890 to 1952. A severe critic of the oligarchs, he fought for universal manhood suffrage, opposed Japanese militarist policy in China and Manchuria, and after 1945 urged reconstruction of Japan on a democratic basis. He was jailed during both World Wars. His strong ties to the West were symbolized by his famed gift of cherry trees to Washington, D.C., and by his many trips abroad.
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