|3rd Chair of the Japan Socialist Party|
March 23, 1960 – October 23, 1960
|Preceded by||Suzuki Mosaburō|
|Succeeded by||Jōtarō Kawakami|
|Member of the Japanese House of Representatives from Tokyo's 1st district|
April 11, 1946 – October 23, 1960
February 21, 1936 – April 30, 1942
December 27, 1898|
Miyake-jima, Izu Islands, Tokyo
|Died||October 12, 1960
|Political party||Japan Socialist Party|
|Alma mater||Waseda University|
Inejiro Asanuma (浅沼 稲次郎 Asanuma Inejirō?, December 27, 1898 – October 12, 1960) was a Japanese politician, and leader of the Japan Socialist Party. A noted public speaker, Asanuma was unusual in postwar Japan for his forceful advocacy of socialism, and his support of the Chinese Communist Party was particularly controversial.
Asanuma was assassinated by a nationalist while speaking in a televised political debate in Tokyo. His violent death was seen in graphic detail on national television, causing widespread public shock and outrage.
Inejiro Asanuma's mother died during his birth, leaving him to be raised by his father, who later died of cancer at the age of forty-two.
He was widely criticized for a 1959 incident where he went to Communist-controlled Mainland China and called the United States "the shared enemy of China and Japan". When he returned from this trip he wore a Mao suit while disembarking from his plane in Japan, sparking criticism even from Socialist leaders. At that time, Japan and many other countries recognized the Republic of China (Taiwan) as the rightful government of Mainland China.
On October 12, 1960, Asanuma was assassinated by 17-year-old Otoya Yamaguchi, a militant nationalist, during a televised political debate for the coming elections for the House of Representatives. While Asanuma spoke from the lectern at Tokyo's Hibiya Hall, Yamaguchi rushed onstage and ran his wakizashi through Asanuma's abdomen, killing him. Japanese television company NHK was video recording the debate for later transmission and the tape of Asanuma's assassination was shown many times to millions of viewers.
The Japanese public was deeply shocked by the Asanuma assassination. In its wake, a spate of mass demonstrations for peace and order ensued across the country. The assassin Yamaguchi was captured at the scene of the crime, and a few weeks afterwards committed suicide while in police custody. After Asanuma's death, the Japan Socialist Party further divided between politicians on the left and right, ultimately disbanding and reconstituting itself as the Social Democratic Party in 1996.
- 鶴崎友亀『浅沼稲次郎小伝』（たいまつ新書、1979年）1998年に新時代社より復刻。 ISBN 4167209047（復刻版）
- Zelizer, Barbie (2010). About to Die:How News Images Move the Public. Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 183. ISBN 0199752133. Retrieved August 18, 2012.
- Makoto Chun, Jayson (2006). A Nation of a Hundred Million Idiots?: A Social History of Japanese Television, 1953 - 1973. Routledge. pp. 184–5. Retrieved 22 March 2014.
- Langdon, Frank (1973). Japan's Foreign Policy. Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press. p. 19. ISBN 0774800151. Retrieved August 18, 2012.
- "Leftist's Killer Suicide in Japan". The New York Times. 3 November 1960. Retrieved 17 April 2013.
- Find-A-Grave Bio.- Inejiro Asanuma
- Factory that Che Guevara named after ex-Japan Socialist Party leader is still in operation in Cuba[dead link] by The Mainichi Daily News, February 3, 2009
- Video of Inejiro Asanuma assassination on YouTube