JAPAN IN THE 1950's:

YOSHIDA SHIGERU AND THE RISEOF THE LIBERAL DEMOCRATIC PARTY


I. Yoshida Shigeru (1878-1967)
A. born in Yokohama, adopted into Yoshida family B. education
  1. 1897 entered Peers' School (Gakushûin) high school program

2. 1905 transferred to Tokyo University law department

3. 1906 graduated & passed foreign service exams
 

C. Early Diplomatic Career
  1. part of Anglo-American clique in Foreign Ministry

2. supported Western cooperation and Anglo-Japanese Alliance

3. part of Japanese delegation to 1919 Versailles Peace Conf.
 

D. Later Diplomatic Career
  1. from 1920's on, Yoshida advocated "strong" policy toward China
  a. criticized Washington Conference of 1922

b. distaste for "international system" of League of Nations
 

2. at odds with Shidehara Kijûrô's liberal foreign policy

3. some military officials saw Yoshida as too militant

4. 1930-35 Period of withdrawal
 

a. offered Ambassadorship to the U.S., but declined it

b. retired from foreign service in 1935
 

5. served as Ambassador to Britain 1936-38

6. opposed the Anti-Comintern Pact (1936) & Tripartite Pact (1940)

7. helped author the Konoe Memorial of Feb. 1945
 

a. called for an "advantageous surrender"

b. premised on belief that war situation threatened Japan with communist revolution and destruction of kokutai

c. Yoshida arrested by Military Police in April 1945, and detained for two months before being released
 

E. The Five Yoshida Cabinets
  1. April 1946-May 1947 First Yoshida Cabinet
  a. PM Hatoyama Ichirô purged after April 1946 election

b. Yoshida and Occupation
 

i. extension of purge

ii. constitutional reform

iii. land reform

iv. labor laws
 

c. Yoshida's conservative victories
  i. emperor preserved

ii. election law revised to weaken leftist parties
 

2. May 1947-Oct. 1948 Yoshida out of power
  a. Katayama Tetsu (1887-1978) May 1947-February 1948

b. Ashida Hitoshi (1887-1959): February 1948-October 1948
 

3. October 1948-January 1949 Second Yoshida Cabinet
  a. Democratic-Liberal Party (Minshu jiyû tô)   4. February 1949-October 1952 Third Yoshida Cabinet
  a. Occupation purge rescended---- Red purge initiated

b. San Francisco Peace Treaty signed

c. US-Japan Mutual Security Treaty signed

d. National Police Reserve established (July 1950)
 

5. October 1952 Fourth Cabinet

6. May 1953-December 1954 Fifth Cabinet
 

a. Relations with China
  i. John Foster Dulles urged recognition of ROC

ii. Yoshida agreed to trade & diplom. relations with ROC

iii. unofficial trade with PRC

 
b. Economic Growth
  i. "Yoshida doctrine"=economic growth emphasized

ii. Korean war called "a gift from the gods"

iii. by 1955, prewar levels reached
 

II. Liberal Democratic Party (Jiyû minshu tô)
A. founded Nov. 1955
B. one-and-a-half-Party System"
  1. no competitive opposition party

2. Socialists (Shakaitô) only 1/2 as strong

3. 1959 Democratic Socialist Party (Minshû Shakaitô)

split from main socialist party over US-Japan MST revision

4. Japanese Communist Party (Nihon kyôsan tô)

5. Clean Government Party (Kômeitô) founded in 1964