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Born Feb. 7, 1893, in Aichi Prefecture; died May 7, 1970, in Tokyo. Leading figure in the Social Democratic movement in Japan.
After graduating from Waseda University in 1915, Suzuki worked for the Tokyo newspapers Hochi and Tokyo nichi-nichi and joined the Social Democratic movement. He visited Soviet Russia in 1922 as a correspondent for the newspaper Yomiuri and published a book on the country after returning to Japan. Together with Oyama Ikuo, Suzuki helped found Rodo Nominto (Workers’ and Peasants’ Party) and served as its secretary in 1927 and 1928. He was arrested in December 1937 for participating in antiwar demonstrations of Japanese workers and was imprisoned until 1940.
Suzuki helped found the Socialist Party of Japan (SPJ) in 1945 and was one of the leaders of the party’s left wing. He served as general secretary of the SPJ from April 1949 through April 1950 and as chairman of the party’s Central Executive Committee from January through October 1951. He opposed the separate San Francisco Peace Treaty. In October 1951, after the SPJ split into the left-wing and right-wing SPJ’s Suzuki became chairman of the left-wing party’s Central Executive Committee, holding that post until the two parties merged once again in October 1955 as the SPJ. He served as chairman of the Central Executive Committee of the unified SPJ until 1960, working thereafter as a party counselor.
Suzuki was the author of works on problems of Japanese capitalism and the history of the Social Democratic movement in Japan.