Also known as Rikken Minseitô, it was founded in 1927 and became Japan's second major party of the prewar period, formed by conservative groups opposed to the Seiyûkai. The Minseitô's early history was marked by electoral success in the 1928 Lower House elections, the first to operate under universal male suffrage. The following year the party formed a government under the premiership of Hamaguchi Osachi although the polices of this administration in a period of domestic and international uncertainty proved to be highly unpopular. Like its rival, the Minseitô relied heavily on the financial support of business, especially the Mitsubishi zaibatsu whose interests it continued to represent. Also like the Seiyûkai, the party was rarely free from factionalism, especially between Nagai Ryûtarô, a prominent party member and advocate of the new order in Asia, and Machida Chûji, the Minseitô party president in the late 1930s. Machida sought to protect the interests of business from the calls for economic rationalization as Japan's war plans developed. Although the party was eventually to participate in the Imperial Rule Assistance Association it showed more reluctance than most in this.
Subjects: Contemporary History (Post 1945).