Liberal Party (Japan, 1890)

The Liberal Party (Japanese: 自由党, Jiyūtō) was a political party in Japan.

Liberal Party
LeaderItagaki Taisuke
Founded25 August 1890
Dissolved20 June 1898
Preceded byAikoku Kōtō
Merged intoShimpotō
Political positionCentre-left


The party was established in August 1890 by 130 members of the House of Representatives who had been elected in July, and was initially named the Constitutional Liberal Party (立憲自由党, Rikken Jiyūtō).[1] It was a merger of the Aikoku Kōtō, Daidō Club and Daidō Kyōwakai, together with several local parties.[2] Initially led by Itagaki Taisuke, who had founded the original Liberal Party in 1881, it was renamed the "Liberal Party" in March 1891.[1] It lost several Representatives in May 1891 when Ōi Kentarō's Kantō faction broke away to form the Eastern Liberal Party. Despite being the largest party, it was not involved in the government, and in 1891 joined forces with Rikken Kaishintō to oppose attempts to increase land taxation.[1]

In the 1892 elections it was reduced to 94 seats, and lost a further 14 Representatives in December 1893 when a breakaway caused by the impeachment of party leader Hoshi Tōro for corruption led to the formation of the Dōshi Club.[3][1] Although it won 120 seats in the March 1894 elections overall gaining 36 seats, the early elections were held in September that year, saw the party reduced to 107 seats. In April 1896 it joined Itō Hirobumi's government and Liberal leader Itagaki Taisuke was appointed Minister of Home Affairs.

After losing another two seats in the March 1898 elections, the party merged with Shimpotō in June 1898 to form the Kenseitō.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e Haruhiro Fukui (1985) Political parties of Asia and the Pacific, Greenwood Press, pp469–471
  2. ^ Fukui, p476
  3. ^ Fukui, p493