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Japan’s First Experiment with Democracy, 1868–1940

  • Richard J. Smethurst

Abstract

On July 18, 1993, the New York Times published an editorial on the Japanese elections of the previous day. Entitled “The Dawn of a Democratic Japan,” the editorial observed that finally in the summer of 1993 Japanese voters “face real choices … Affluent, educated and well traveled, Japanese society was revealed as more complex and sophisticated than even some of its professional interpreters imagined … This election is likely to mark only the first stage of a long transition between the one-party politics of the past and a more democratic future.”1 In fact, the Times editorial writers were three-quarters of a century late. The “dawn” of democracy in Japan broke, not in 1993, but in the first third of the twentieth century when Japan had already developed a workable two-party system.

Keywords

Prime Minister Local Election Iwate Prefecture Party Government Tenant Farmer 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

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Copyright information

© New York University Press 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard J. Smethurst

There are no affiliations available

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