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For the currently active political party, see New Kōmeitō Party.
Founded 17 November 1964
Dissolved 7 November 1998
Succeeded by New Komeito Party
Ideology Populism,
Political position Centre
Politics of Japan
Political parties

The Kōmeitō (公明党), also known as Clean Government Party or CGP, was a political party in Japan. It was centrist, sometimes also classified as centre-left.


Kōmeitō was originally the Kōmei Political League, a section of the Sōka Gakkai, an organization that promotes Nichiren Buddhism.

From 1955 to 1967, the Sōka Gakkai backed and got elected many candidates in local assembly politics: 51 out of 52 were elected in 1955; and, by 1967, close to 2,000 were elected.

The League of the Sōka Gakkai also backed candidates to the Upper House where 3 members were elected in 1956, a number that has increased since (25 members in 1967; 47 in 1969).

In 1964, the president of the Sōka Gakkai, Daisaku Ikeda, decided to split the Sōka Gakkai (the religious body) from the League (political body). Thus was created the Kōmeitō.

In 1969, the Kōmeitō became the third political party in Japan.

It was usually supportive of the Japan Socialist Party, and opposed the LDP (Liberal Democratic Party), the major ruling party at that time.

Kōmeitō did quite well, and in 1993, when the LDP was for the first time declared an opposition party, the Kōmeitō became one of the ruling parties, headed by the liberal Japan New Party, but which also included the Democratic Socialist Party, Japan Renewal Party, the New Party Sakigake, and the Japan Socialist Party. In 1994, the latter two parties left the coalition, and in July they took over the rule, making another coalition with the LDP. The Kōmeitō was again thrown into opposition.

On December 5, 1994, The Kōmeitō split into two parties. The Lower House chairs and some of Upper House chairs formed Kōmeitō New Party, and 5 days later, they joined into the New Frontier Party. The others, i.e. local assembly members and the rest of the Upper House chairs, formed Kōmei and independent friend of the New Frontier Party.

In 1998, however, the New Frontier Party dissolved, and former Kōmeitō members formed New Peace Party and Reform Club. They merged with Kōmei in the same year and then became known as the NKP (New Kōmeitō Party). The NKP adopted a more conservative agenda than the former Kōmeitō and in 1999 they supported the ruling party, the LDP.[1]

See also[edit]