Democratic Party of Japan (1996)
|Founded||29 September 1996|
|Dissolved||27 April 1998|
|Split from||New Party Sakigake
Japan Socialist Party
|Succeeded by||Democratic Party of Japan|
|Political position||Centre to Centre-left|
The Democratic Party of Japan (1996–1998) (民主党 Minshutō?) was a centrist political party in Japan. The party was one of the forerunners to the Democratic Party of Japan formed in 1998. The two leading member of the party, Yukio Hatoyama and Naoto Kan, subsequently became Prime Minister one after the other at the end of the first decade of the 21st century.
The party was formed mostly of former Sakigake and Japan Socialist Party politicians who did not support an alliance with the ruling Liberal Democratic Party. The party was founded on 29 September 1996 by sitting member of the Diet. The initial leaders were Yukio Hatoyama and Naoto Kan, formerly members of Sakigake. The party had 39 parliamentarians upon the party's formation.
In April 1998, the party was joined by former members of the New Frontier Party, which had collapsed in December 1997, increasing its representation to 90 seats. The party then relaunched as the Democratic Party of Japan upon its merger with the Good Governance Party (Minseitō), New Fraternity Party and Democratic Reform Party.
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