Rikken Seiyukai
The was one of the main political parties
Political party
A political party is a political organization that typically seeks to influence government policy, usually by nominating their own candidates and trying to seat them in political office. Parties participate in electoral campaigns, educational outreach or protest actions...

 in the pre-war Empire of Japan
Empire of Japan
The Empire of Japan is the name of the state of Japan that existed from the Meiji Restoration on 3 January 1868 to the enactment of the post-World War II Constitution of...

. It was also known simply as the ‘Seiyūkai'

Founded on September 15, 1900 by Itō Hirobumi
Ito Hirobumi
Prince was a samurai of Chōshū domain, Japanese statesman, four time Prime Minister of Japan , genrō and Resident-General of Korea. Itō was assassinated by An Jung-geun, a Korean nationalist who was against the annexation of Korea by the Japanese Empire...

 , the Seiyūkai was a pro-government alliance of bureaucrats and former members of the Kenseitō
The was a political party in the Meiji period Empire of Japan.The Kenseitō was founded in June 1898, as a merger of the Shimpotō headed by Ōkuma Shigenobu and the Jiyūtō led by Itagaki Taisuke, with Ōkuma as party president. The merger gave the new party an overwhelming majority in the Lower House...

. The Seiyūkai was the most powerful political party in the Lower House
House of Representatives of Japan
The is the lower house of the Diet of Japan. The House of Councillors of Japan is the upper house.The House of Representatives has 480 members, elected for a four-year term. Of these, 180 members are elected from 11 multi-member constituencies by a party-list system of proportional representation,...

 of the Diet of Japan
Diet of Japan
The is Japan's bicameral legislature. It is composed of a lower house, called the House of Representatives, and an upper house, called the House of Councillors. Both houses of the Diet are directly elected under a parallel voting system. In addition to passing laws, the Diet is formally...

 from 1900 to 1921, and it promoted big government
Big government
Big government is a term generally used by political conservatives, laissez-faire advocates, or libertarians to describe a government or public sector which they consider to be excessively large, corrupt and inefficient, or inappropriately involved in certain areas of public policy or the private...

 and large-scale public spending. Though labeled "liberal
Liberalism is the belief in the importance of liberty and equal rights. Liberals espouse a wide array of views depending on their understanding of these principles, but generally, liberals support ideas such as constitutionalism, liberal democracy, free and fair elections, human rights,...

" by its own members, it was generally conservative
Conservatism is a political and social philosophy that promotes the maintenance of traditional institutions and supports, at the most, minimal and gradual change in society. Some conservatives seek to preserve things as they are, emphasizing stability and continuity, while others oppose modernism...

 by modern definitions. It often opposed social reforms and it supported bureaucratic control and militarism
Militarism is defined as: the belief or desire of a government or people that a country should maintain a strong military capability and be prepared to use it aggressively to defend or promote national interests....

 for the purpose of winning votes. It viewed the Rikken Minseitō
Rikken Minseito
was one of the main political parties in pre-war Empire of Japan. It was commonly known as the 'Minseitō'.The Minseitō was founded on 1 June 1927, by a merger of the Kenseikai and the Seiyu Hontō political parties. Its leadership included Osachi Hamaguchi, Wakatsuki Reijirō, Yamamoto Tatsuo, ...

 as its main rival.

The Seiyūkai came into power in October 1900 under the 4th Itō administration. Under its second leader, Saionji Kinmochi
Saionji Kinmochi
Prince was a Japanese politician, statesman and twice Prime Minister of Japan. His title does not signify the son of an emperor, but the highest rank of Japanese hereditary nobility; he was elevated from marquis to prince in 1920...

, it participated in the Movement to Protect Constitutional Government from 1912-1913. It was the ruling party under the Prime Minister
Prime Minister of Japan
The is the head of government of Japan. He is appointed by the Emperor of Japan after being designated by the Diet from among its members, and must enjoy the confidence of the House of Representatives to remain in office...

 Yamamoto Gonnohyōe
Yamamoto Gonnohyoe
, also called Gonnohyōe, was an admiral in the Imperial Japanese Navy and the 16th and 22nd Prime Minister of Japan.-Early life:...

 from 1913-1914. Cabinet minister (and later 4th party president) Takahashi Korekiyo
Takahashi Korekiyo
Viscount was a Japanese politician and the 20th Prime Minister of Japan from 13 November 1921 to 12 June 1922. He was known as an expert on finance during his political career.-Early life :...

 helped reinforce its ties with the zaibatsu
is a Japanese term referring to industrial and financial business conglomerates in the Empire of Japan, whose influence and size allowed for control over significant parts of the Japanese economy from the Meiji period until the end of World War II.-Terminology:...

, especially the Mitsui
is one of the largest corporate conglomerates in Japan and one of the largest publicly traded companies in the world.-History:Founded by Mitsui Takatoshi , who was the fourth son of a shopkeeper in Matsusaka, in what is now today's Mie prefecture...

 financial interests.

The 3rd party president, Hara Takashi
Hara Takashi
was a Japanese politician and the 19th Prime Minister of Japan from 29 September 1918 to 4 November 1921. He was also called Hara Kei informally. He was the first commoner appointed to the office of prime minister of Japan...

, became Prime Minister in September 1918, and assigned every cabinet post except for the Army Minister
Ministry of War of Japan
The , more popularly known as the Ministry of War of Japan, was cabinet-level ministry in the Empire of Japan charged with the administrative affairs of the Imperial Japanese Army...

, Navy Minister
Ministry of the Navy of Japan
The was a cabinet-level ministry in the Empire of Japan charged with the administrative affairs of the Imperial Japanese Navy . It existed from 1872 to 1945.-History:...

 and Minister of Foreign Affairs
Minister for Foreign Affairs (Japan)
The of Japan is the Cabinet member responsible for Japanese foreign policy and the chief executive of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.Since the end of the American occupation of Japan, the position has been one of the most powerful in the Cabinet, as Japan's economic interests have long relied on...

 to members of the Seiyūkai. In the 1920, the party reached the peak of its popularity.

After Hara's assassination in 1921, a large block of party members defected to form the Seiyu Hontō in the 1924 General Election
Japanese general election, 1924
The Japanese general election of 1924 was the first instance when two political parties were united to form the government. The Seiyuhonto and Seiyukai combined, and they gained 47 of seats in the house....

; however, the Seiyūkai retained enough seats to dominate the cabinet of its 5th party president, General Tanaka Giichi
Tanaka Giichi
Baron was a general in the Imperial Japanese Army, politician, and the 26th Prime Minister of Japan from 20 April 1927 to 2 July 1929.-Early life and military career:...

 from 1927-1929.

While in the opposition during the Minseitō-dominated cabinet of Prime Minister Hamaguchi Osachi
Hamaguchi Osachi
was a Japanese politician and the 27th Prime Minister of Japan from 2 July 1929 to 14 April 1931. He was called the "Lion prime minister" due to his physical features.-Early life:...

, the Seiyūkai attacked the ratification of the London Naval Treaty
London Naval Treaty
The London Naval Treaty was an agreement between the United Kingdom, the Empire of Japan, France, Italy and the United States, signed on April 22, 1930, which regulated submarine warfare and limited naval shipbuilding. Ratifications were exchanged in London on October 27, 1930, and the treaty went...

 of 1930 as against Article 11 of the Meiji Constitution
Meiji Constitution
The ', known informally as the ', was the organic law of the Japanese empire, in force from November 29, 1890 until May 2, 1947.-Outline:...

, which stipulated the independence of the military from civilian control.

After winning the 1932 General Election under Inukai Tsuyoshi
Inukai Tsuyoshi
was a Japanese politician and the 29th Prime Minister of Japan from 13 December 1931 to 15 May 1932.-Early life:Inukai was born to a former samurai family of the Niwase Domain, in Niwase village, Bizen Province , and was a graduate of Keio Gijuku in Tokyo. In his early career, he worked as a...

, Seiyūkai formed a cabinet, floated the yen and conducted policies to revive the economy. However, after Inukai’s assassination in the May 15 Incident
May 15 Incident
The ' was an attempted coup d'état in Japan, on May 15, 1932, launched by radical elements of the Imperial Japanese Navy, aided by cadets in the Imperial Japanese Army and civilian remnants of the League of Blood Incident. Prime Minister Inukai Tsuyoshi was assassinated by 11 young naval officers...

 of 1932, factionism within the party limited its effectiveness.

In 1940 it voted to dissolve itself into the Imperial Rule Assistance Association as part of Fumimaro Konoe
Fumimaro Konoe
Prince was a politician in the Empire of Japan who served as the 34th, 38th and 39th Prime Minister of Japan and founder/leader of the Taisei Yokusankai.- Early life :...

's efforts to create a single-party state
Single-party state
A single-party state, one-party system or single-party system is a type of party system government in which a single political party forms the government and no other parties are permitted to run candidates for election...

, and thereafter ceased to exist.

Ichirō Hatoyama
Ichiro Hatoyama
was a Japanese politician and the 52nd, 53rd and 54th Prime Minister of Japan, serving terms from December 10, 1954 through March 19, 1955, from then to November 22, 1955, and from then through December 23, 1956.-Personal life:...

, who had been a Seiyūkai member of the House of Representatives, led some former party members into the 1945 Liberal Party.
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