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Japan Socialist Party (JSP)

Koji Nakakita

Subject History » Political History
Applied Psychology » Political Psychology

Place Eastern Asia » Japan

Period 1000 - 1999 » 1900-1999

Key-Topics Marxism, pacifism, party politics, revolution, socialism

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405184649.2009.00826.x


The Japan Socialist Party (Nihon Shakaito) (JSP) was the most important socialist party in post-World War II Japan. From 1955 to 1993, under the so-called 1955 system, it was the largest opposition party to the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP). Ideologically, it advocated Marxism and pacifism for most of its existence, and was one of the most leftist parties affiliated with the Socialist International. On November 2, 1945, two months after Japan's formal surrender, the JSP was organized by three of the main non-communist socialist groups from the prewar period: the Shamin-kei (Social Democratic group, right-wing faction), the Nichirō-kei (Japan Labor group, centrist faction), and the Nichimu-kei (Japan Proletarian group, left-wing faction). The early JSP was led by Chairperson Tetsu Katayama and General Secretary Suehiro Nishio, both from the Shamin-kei. The American occupation forces viewed the JSP as a valuable collaborator for the “demilitarization and democratization” of Japan. In 1947 it won a plurality of seats in the Lower House and formed two consecutive three-party coalition governments headed by Katayama and Hitoshi Ashida, the president of the Democratic Party. However, these governments soon collapsed amid conflicts over economic reconstruction policies and corruption scandals, weakening the right-wing Shamin-kei and broadening the influence of the left-wing ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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