Japan Renewal Party

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Japan Renewal Party
新生党
President Tsutomu Hata
Secretary-General Ichirō Ozawa
Founded 23 June 1993
Dissolved 10 December 1994
Split from Liberal Democratic Party
Merged into New Frontier Party
Ideology Social liberalism,
Centrism
Political position Centre to Centre-Left
Politics of Japan
Political parties
Elections

The Japan Renewal Party (also JRP; 新生党, Shinseitō) was a Japanese political party that existed in the early 1990s. It was founded in 1993 by 44 members of the Liberal Democratic Party led by Tsutomu Hata and Ichirō Ozawa. It was instrumental in ending the LDP's 38 year dominance of Japanese politics.

Both reformers, Hata and Ozawa had been involved in a difficult leadership struggle within the former Takeshita faction of the LDP. Their opponents, led by Keizo Obuchi and Ryutaro Hashimoto, were using the fallout of the Sagawa Kyubin scandal as a tool to undermine the reformist position. Hata and Ozawa split from the party partly to shift media attention away from the scandal. In doing so, they transformed an internal party dispute to a wide-ranging conflict that led to a decade of shifting allegiances and short-lived parties.

In the elections immediately following the split, the JRP won 55 seats, making it one of the most powerful opposition parties. Most importantly, the party drew off support crucial to the LDP. While several other small parties had split from the LDP, Hata and Ozawa's group was the largest, and was widely considered to have finally broken the back of LDP dominance.

Known for his political organisational skills, Ozawa organised a five-party coalition of the JRP, the Japan Socialist Party, the Democratic Socialist Party, Komeito and the United Social Democratic Party. This coalition held 237 seats in the Diet, and after convincing the Japan New Party and the New Party Sakigake to join, was able to form a government under Morihiro Hosokawa.

As the impetus for the collapse of LDP power, the JRP was able to exert great power in the coalition. While some concessions to other parties were made, the JRP was perhaps overly dominant, eventually forcing some other members out of the coalition through its heavyhanded style. In 1994, the JRP merged into the New Frontier Party.

Presidents of JRP[edit]

No. Name Term of office Image
Took Office Left Office
1 Tsutomu Hata
羽田 孜
Hata Tsutomu
23 June 1993 10 December 1994

General election results[edit]

Election Leader # of candidates # of seats won # of Constituency votes  % of Constituency vote
1993 Tsutomu Hata 69 55 6,341,364 10.10%