Nishio Suehiro


Show Summary Details

Quick Reference

(b. 28 Mar. 1891, d. 3 Oct. 1981).

Japanese politician Without completing his high school education, Nishio spent his early life as a machinist in an ordnance plant. There he became involved in the Yûaikaigi union movement in 1919. During the 1920s, he took part in various labour disputes as a union activist. He also supported the formation of the Socialist People's Party with Matsuoka Komakichi and was elected to the Imperial Diet in 1928. He did not participate in the Imperial Rule Assistance Association, and with his reputation largely intact he emerged after World War II to play a leading role in the Japan Socialist Party (JSP). His considerable influence allowed him to obtain the post of Chief Cabinet Secretary in the JSP‐dominated government of Katayama Tetsu. At the height of his powers, Nishio was implicated in the Shôwa Denkô scandal and although he was ultimately cleared of all charges, the legal proceedings surrounding this incident dragged on for a decade. Nishio, whose political philosophy stressed the predominance of the parliamentary party, was viewed with suspicion by many left‐wing activists. In particular his support for a security alliance with the USA, his endorsement of the Nationalist regime in Taiwan, and his intimate links with big business, invited a series of denunciations by delegates at the 1959 JSP congress. As a result, Nishio chose to lead followers out of the JSP to form a second party which became known as the Democratic Socialist Party (DSP). He was chairman of the DSP until 1967, although he continued to play an important role as the DSP's elder statesman until his death.

Subjects: Contemporary History (Post 1945).

Reference entries

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.