Democratic Party of Japan
||This article needs additional citations for verification. (August 2009)|
|Councilors leader||Azuma Koshiishi|
|Representatives leader||Banri Kaieda|
|Founded||8 January 1998|
|Preceded by||Democratic Party of Japan (1996-1998)|
|Headquarters||1-11-1 Nagata-cho, Chiyoda, Tokyo 100-0014, Japan|
|International affiliation||Alliance of Democrats|
|Colors||Red and black (informally)|
|Prefectural assembly members|
|Municipal assembly members|
The Democratic Party of Japan (民主党 Minshutō ) is a Centre-left political party in Japan founded in 1998 by the merger of several opposition parties. After the 2009 election, the DPJ became the ruling party in the House of Representatives, defeating the long-dominant Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and gaining the largest number of seats in both the House of Representatives and the House of Councillors.
After winning a landslide victory in 2009, it was ousted from government by the LDP in the 2012 general election. It retained 57 seats in the lower house, and still had 88 seats in the upper house. During its time in office, the DPJ implemented a number of progressive measures such as the provision of free public schooling through high school and increases in child-rearing subsidies.
It is not to be confused with the now-defunct Japan Democratic Party that merged with the Liberal Party in 1955 to form the Liberal Democratic Party. It is also different from another Democratic Party, which was established in 1947 and dissolved in 1950.
View of the status quo 
The Democratic Party claim themselves to be revolutionary in that they are against the status quo and the current governing establishment. The Democratic Party argue that the bureaucracy and the size of the Japanese government is too large, inefficient, and saturated with cronies and that the Japanese state is too conservative and stiff. The Democratic Party wants to "overthrow the ancient régime locked in old thinking and vested interests, solve the problems at hand, and create a new, flexible, affluent society which values people's individuality and vitality."
Political standpoint 
|“||We stand for those who have been excluded by the structure of vested interests, those who work hard and pay taxes, and for people who strive for independence despite difficult circumstances. In other words, we represent citizens, taxpayers, and consumers. We do not seek a panacea either in the free market or in the welfare state. Rather, we shall build a new road of the democratic center toward a society in which self-reliant individuals can mutually coexist and the government's role is limited to building the necessary systems.||”|
Democratic Centrism pursues the following five goals.
- Transparent, just and fair society
- Free market and inclusive society
- Decentralized and participatory society
- Compliance with the three constitutional principles
- International relations based on self-reliance and mutual coexistence
Policy platforms 
The DPJ's policy platforms include the restructuring of civil service, monthly allowance to a family with children (¥26,000 per child), cut in gas tax, income support for farmers, free tuition for public high schools, banning of temporary work in manufacturing, raising the minimum-wage to ¥1,000 and halting of increase in sales tax for the next four years.
- Supreme Advisers - Naoto Kan, Yoshihiko Noda, Katsuya Okada, Takahiro Yokomichi, Satsuki Eda
- President - Banri Kaieda
- Acting President - Akihiro Ohata
- Vice Presidents:
- Secretary General - Goshi Hosono
- Acting Secretary General - Masaharu Nakagawa
- Chair, Policy Research Committee - Mitsuru Sakurai
- Acting Chair, Policy Research Committee - Takeaki Matsumoto
- Chair, Diet Affairs Committee - Yoshiaki Takaki
- Acting Chair, Diet Affairs Committee - Jin Matsubara
- Chair, DPJ Caucus, House of Councillors - Azuma Koshiishi
- Secretary General, DPJ Caucus, House of Councillors - Yasuo Ichikawa
- Chair, Diet Affairs Committee, DPJ Caucus, House of Councillors - Shuji Ikeguchi
- Chair, Standing Officers Council - Hajime Ishii
- Chair, Election Campaign Committee - Toshiyuki Kato
- Chair, Administration Committee - Koichi Takemasa
- Chair, Financial Committee - Toshio Ogawa
- Chair, Organisation Committee - Kazuya Tamaki
- Chair, Public Relations Committee - Kan Suzuki
- Chair, Corporate & External Organisations Committee - Takeshi Maeda
- Chair, National Rallying and Canvassing Committee - Akihisa Nagashima
- Chair, Women Committee - Makiko Kikuta
- Chair, Youth Committee - Keisuke Tsumura
The DPJ has some political factions or groups, although they are not as factionalized as the LDP, which has traditionally placed high priority on intra-party factional alignment. The groups are, from the most influential to the least influential:
- Ryōun-kai (lit. 'Transcendent Association'): the second most conservative faction. Most of its members are from The Sakigake Party. Ryoun-kai has about 40 seats in the assembly and is led by Seiji Maehara and Yoshihiko Noda.
- Seiken kōyaku wo Jitsugen suru kai (lit. 'Association for the Realization of Political Promises'): formed by defectors from LDP and led by former party leader Yukio Hatoyama, has about conservative 30 lawmakers in the Diet. Former name is 'Seiken kotai wo Jitsugen suru kai'.
- Minsha Kyōkai (lit. 'Democratic Socialist Group'): members of the former centrist Democratic Socialist Party which merged with the DPJ early on. About 25 members, led by Tatsuo Kawabata.
- Kuni no katachi kenkyūkai (lit. 'Country Form Research Society'): led by Party President Naoto Kan. Is a liberal leaning faction. About 20 members.
- Shin seikyoku kondankai (lit. 'Panel for a New Political Situation'): the most left-leaning faction, created by members of the former Japan Socialist Party who felt the Social Democratic Party was too radical. About 20 seats, led by Takahiro Yokomichi.
The Independent’s Club is a minor political party which forms a political entity with the DPJ in both chambers of the house.
Presidents of DPJ 
The Presidents of Democratic Party of Japan (ja:民主党代表 Minshutō Daihyō ), the formal name is 民主党常任幹事会代表 (Minshutō Jyōnin-Kanji-Kai Daihyō).
|No.||Name||Term of office||Image||Election results|
|Took Office||Left Office|
|27 April 1998||18 January 1999||unchallenged|
|18 January 1999||25 September 1999||Naoto Kan - 180
Shigefumi Matsuzawa - 51
Abstention - 8
|25 September 1999||9 September 2000||Yukio Hatoyama - 182
Naoto Kan - 130
|9 September 2000||23 September 2002||walkover|
|23 September 2002||10 December 2002||Yukio Hatoyama - 254
Naoto Kan - 242
|10 December 2002||18 May 2004||Naoto Kan - 104
Katsuya Okada - 79
|18 May 2004||13 September 2004||unchallenged|
|13 September 2004||17 September 2005||walkover|
|17 September 2005||7 April 2006||Seiji Maehara - 96
Naoto Kan - 94
Abstention - 3
|7 April 2006||12 September 2006||Ichirō Ozawa - 119
Naoto Kan - 73
|12 September 2006||21 September 2008||walkover|
|21 September 2008||16 May 2009||walkover|
|16 May 2009||4 June 2010||see election 2009
Yukio Hatoyama - 124
Katsuya Okada - 95
|4 June 2010||14 September 2010||see election Jun 2010
Naoto Kan - 291
Shinji Tarutoko - 129
|14 September 2010||29 August 2011||see election Sep 2010
Naoto Kan - 721
Ichirō Ozawa - 491
|29 August 2011||21 September 2012||see election 2011
Yoshihiko Noda - 215
Banri Kaieda - 177
|21 September 2012||25 December 2012||Yoshihiko Noda - 818
Hirotaka Akamatsu - 154
Kazuhiro Haraguchi - 123
Michihiko Kano - 113
|25 December 2012||Incumbent||Banri Kaieda - 90
Sumio Mabuchi - 54
Election results 
All-time highest values are bolded
General election results 
|Election||Leader||# of candidates||# of seats won||# of Constituency votes||% of Constituency vote||# of PR Block votes||% of PR Block vote|
Councillors election results 
|Election||Leader||# of seats total||# of seats won||# of National votes||% of National vote||# of Prefectural votes||% of Prefectural vote|
See also 
- Politics of Japan
- Marutei Tsurunen: Japan's first deputy of European origin
- Kabashima, I. & Steel, G. (2010). Changing Politics in Japan. Cornell University Press, pp. 138–9.
- US reaches out as Japan shifts left, AFP,
- Political Parties, International Organizations and Individuals joining the Alliance of Democrats, Alliance of Democrats
- Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications: Prefectural and local assembly members and governors/mayors by political party as of December 31, 2011
- Japan in Transformation, 1945-2010 (2nd edition) by Jeff Kingston
- Out Basic Philosophy - Building a free and secure society on The Democratic Party of Japan's website accessed on May 12, 2010.(Japanese)
- Out Basic Philosophy - Building a free and secure society on The Democratic Party of Japan's website accessed on 17 May 2008.
- Ryall, Julian (2009-08-27). "Japan election: unemployed turn on the government". London: The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 1 May 2010.
- Hiroko Tabuchi (2009-08-03). "Opposition Woos Japan's Voters With Costly Vows". New York Times.
- Fujioka, Chisa (2009-08-21). "Japan opposition may score landslide win: media". Reuters.
- 民主代表選 鳩山氏が優位、岡田氏は参院に照準, Asahi Shimbun, 16 May 2009
Further reading 
- Japan after Kan: Implications for the DPJ’s Political Future, Q&A with Richard J. Samuels (MIT) August 2011
- Daniel Sneider, The New Asianism: Japanese Foreign Policy under the Democratic Party of Japan (Asia Policy, July 2011)
- Leif-Eric Easley, Tetsuo Kotani and Aki Mori, Electing a New Japanese Security Policy? Examining Foreign Policy Visions within the Democratic Party of Japan (Asia Policy, August 2009)
- Linus Hagström (2010) The Democratic Party of Japan’s Security Policy and Japanese Politics of Constitutional Revision: A Cloud over Article 9? Australian Journal of International Affairs 64 (5): 512–28.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Democratic Party of Japan|
- Democratic Party of Japan (English)
- Democratic Party of Japan (Japanese)
- Democratic Party of Japan on Facebook
- Democratic Party of Japan on Twitter
- Democratic Party of Japan's channel on YouTube