The Imperial Rule Assistance Association (大政翼贊會/大政翼賛会 Taisei Yokusankai), or Imperial Aid Association, was Japan's wartime organization created by Prime Minister Fumimaro Konoe on October 12, 1940, to promote the goals of his Shintaisei ("New Order") movement. It evolved into a "statist" ruling political party which aimed at removing the sectionalism in the politics and economics in the Empire of Japan to create a totalitarian one-party state, in order to maximize the efficiency of Japan's total war effort in China. When the organization was launched officially, Konoe was hailed as a "political savior" of a nation in chaos; however, internal divisions soon appeared.
Imperial Rule Assistance Association
|President||Fumimaro Konoe (1940–41)|
Hideki Tojo (1941–44)
Kuniaki Koiso (1944–45)
Kantarō Suzuki (1945)
|Founded||October 12, 1940|
|Dissolved||June 13, 1945|
|Merger of||Rikken Seiyūkai, Rikken Minseitō, Kokumin Dōmei, Shakai Taishūtō|
|Youth wing||Great Japan Youth Party|
|Paramilitary wing||Yokusan Sonendan|
|Parliamentary group||Imperial Rule Assistance Political Association|
Based on recommendations by the Shōwa Kenkyūkai (Shōwa Research Association), Konoe originally conceived of the Imperial Rule Assistance Association as a reformist political party to overcome the deep-rooted differences and political cliques between bureaucrats, politicians and the military. During the summer of 1937, Konoe appointed 37 members chosen from a broad political spectrum to a preparatory committee which met in Karuizawa, Nagano. The committee included Konoe's political colleagues Fumio Gotō, Count Yoriyasu Arima and ex-syndicalist and right-wing spokesman Fusanosuke Kuhara. The socialist and populist left wing was represented by Kingoro Hashimoto and the traditionalist military wings by Senjūrō Hayashi, Heisuke Yanagawa and Nobuyuki Abe.
Konoe proposed originally that the Imperial Rule Assistance Association be organized along national syndicalist lines, with new members assigned to branches based on occupation, which would then develop channels for mass participation of the common population to "assist with the Imperial Rule".
However, from the start, there was no consensus in a common cause, as the leadership council represented all ends of the political spectrum, and in the end, the party was organized along geographic lines, following the existing political sub-divisions. Therefore, all local government leaders at each level of village, town, city and prefectural government automatically received the equivalent position within their local Imperial Rule Assistance Association branch.
Prior to creation of the Imperial Rule Assistance Association, Konoe had already passed the National Mobilization Law, which effectively nationalized strategic industries, the news media, and labor unions, in preparation for total war with China.
Labor unions were replaced by the Nation Service Draft Ordinance, which empowered the government to draft civilian workers into critical war industries. Society was mobilized and indoctrinated through the National Spiritual Mobilization Movement, which organized patriotic events and mass rallies, and promoted slogans such as "Yamato-damashii" (Japanese spirit) and "Hakkō ichiu" (All the world under one roof) to support Japanese militarism. This was urged to "restore the spirit and virtues of old Japan".
In addition to drumming up support for the ongoing wars in China and in the Pacific, the Imperial Rule Assistance Association helped maintain public order and provided certain public services via the tonarigumi neighborhood association program. It also played a role in increasing productivity, monitoring rationing, and organizing civil defense.
The Imperial Rule Assistance Association was also militarized, with its members donning khaki-colored uniforms. In the last period of the conflict, the membership received military training and was projected to integrate with civil militia in case of the anticipated American invasion.
As soon as October 1940, the Imperial Rule Assistance Association systemized and formalized the Tonarigumi, a nationwide system of neighborhood associations. The November 6, 1940 issue of Shashin Shūhō (Photographic Weekly Report) explained the purpose of this infrastructure:
The Taisei Yokusankai movement has already turned on the switch for rebuilding a new Japan and completing a new Great East Asian order which, writ large, is the construction of a new world order. The Taisei Yokusankai is, broadly speaking, the New Order movement which will, in a word, place One Hundred Million into one body under this new organisation that will conduct all of our energies and abilities for the sake of the nation. Aren't we all mentally prepared to be members of this new organization and, as one adult to another, without holding our superiors in awe or being preoccupied with the past, cast aside all private concerns in order to perform public service? Under the Taisei Yokusankai are regional town, village, and tonarigumi; let's convene council meetings and advance the activities of this organization.
In February 1942, all women's associations were merged into the Greater Japan Women's Association which joined the Imperial Rule Assistance Association in May. Every adult woman in Japan, excepting the under twenty and unmarried, was forced to join the Association.
Likewise, in June, all youth organizations were merged into the Greater Japan Imperial Rule Assistance Youth Corps (翼賛青年団), based on the model of the German Sturmabteilung (stormtroopers).
In March 1942, Prime Minister Hideki Tōjō attempted to eliminate the influence of elected politicians by establishing an officially sponsored election nomination commission, which restricted non-government-sanctioned candidates from the ballot. After the 1942 Japanese General Election, all members of Diet were required to join the Yokusan Seijikai (Imperial Rule Assistance Political Association), which effectively made Japan a one-party state. The Imperial Rule Assistance Association was formally dissolved on June 13, 1945.
Later, many of the leaders of the Imperial Rule Assistance Association became major members of the LDP and the Social Democratic Party.
|1||Fumimaro Konoe||1940 – 1941|
|2||Hideki Tojo||1941 – 1944|
|3||Kuniaki Koiso||1944 – 1945|
|4||Kantarō Suzuki||1945 – 1945|
|House of Representatives|
|Election year||Total seats||±|
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Chikuhei Nakajima (中島 知久平, Nakajima Chikuhei, January 1, 1884 – October 29, 1949), was a Japanese naval officer, engineer, and politician, who is most notable for having founded Nakajima Aircraft Company in 1917, a major supplier of airplanes in the Empire of Japan. He also served as a cabinet minister.Fumimaro Konoe
Prince Fumimaro Konoe (Japanese: 近衞 文麿, Hepburn: Konoe Fumimaro, often Konoye, 12 October 1891 – 16 December 1945) was a Japanese politician in the Empire of Japan who served as the 34th, 38th and 39th Prime Minister of Japan and founder/leader of the Imperial Rule Assistance Association. He was Prime Minister in the lead-up to Japan entering World War II.Fumio Gotō
Fumio Gotō (後藤 文夫, Gotō Fumio, 7 March 1884 – 13 May 1980) was a Japanese politician and bureaucrat, and briefly served as interim Prime Minister of Japan in 1936.Fusanosuke Kuhara
Fusanosuke Kuhara (久原 房之助, Kuhara Fusanosuke, 12 July 1869 – 29 January 1965) was an entrepreneur, politician and cabinet minister in the pre-war Empire of Japan.Kantarō Suzuki
Baron Kantarō Suzuki (鈴木 貫太郎, 18 January 1868 – 17 April 1948) was an admiral in the Imperial Japanese Navy, member and final leader of the Imperial Rule Assistance Association and 42nd Prime Minister of Japan from 7 April to 17 August 1945.Kingoro Hashimoto
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Kokumin Dōmei (国民同盟, National Alliance) was a Japanese fascist political party in Japan active in the 1930s.
In 1931, Home Minister Adachi Kenzō spoke out strongly in support of the Imperial Japanese Army’s unauthorized incursions into Manchuria and against the diplomatic policies pursued by Kijūrō Shidehara, and was expelled from the ranks of the Rikken Minseitō. Joining together with Nakano Seigō, Akira Kazami, and others, Adachi formed the right-wing political organization Kokumin Dōmei in December 1932
The Kokumin Dōmei advocated a form of state socialism or corporatism with government control of strategic industries and financial institutions, and the creation of a Japan-Manchukuo economic union.
The new party consisted mainly of defectors from the Minseitō, and had an original strength of 32 seats in the Diet of Japan. In 1934, it demanded an inquiry into the Teijin Incident in an effort to bring down the cabinet of Prime Minister Saitō Makoto. However, in 1935, many members returned to the Minseitō fold, and in 1936, Nakano left the party to form the Tōhōkai the following year, and Kazami joining Fumimaro Konoe’s think tank, the Shōwa Kenkyūkai. In the 1937 General Election, the party's strength fell from 32 seats to 11 seats.
In June 1940, The Kokumin Dōmei was merged into the Imperial Rule Assistance Association as part of Hideki Tōjō's efforts to create a one-party state, and thereafter ceased to exist.List of fascist movements by country
This is a list of political parties, organizations, and movements that have been claimed to follow some form of fascist ideology. Since definitions of fascism vary, entries in this list may be controversial. For a discussion of the various debates surrounding the nature of fascism, see fascism and ideology and definitions of fascism.
This list has been divided into four sections for reasons of length:
List of fascist movements by country A–F
List of fascist movements by country G–M
List of fascist movements by country N–T
List of fascist movements by country U–ZNaoki Hoshino
Naoki Hoshino (星野 直樹, Hoshino Naoki, 10 April 1892 – 26 January 1978) was a bureaucrat and politician who served in the Taishō and early Shōwa period Japanese government, and as an official in the Empire of Manchukuo.Nobuyuki Abe
General Nobuyuki Abe (阿部 信行, Abe Nobuyuki, November 24, 1875 – 7 September 1953) was a general in the Imperial Japanese Army, Governor-General of Korea, and 36th Prime Minister of Japan from 30 August 1939 to 16 January 1940.Ryūtarō Nagai
Ryūtarō Nagai (永井 柳太郎, Nagai Ryūtarō, April 16, 1881 – December 4, 1944), was a politician and cabinet minister in the Empire of Japan, serving a member of the Lower House of the Diet of Japan eight times, and four as a cabinet minister. He was noted in his early political career as a champion of universal suffrage, social welfare, labor unions, women's rights and Pan-Asianism.Senjūrō Hayashi
Senjūrō Hayashi (林 銑十郎, Hayashi Senjūrō, 23 February 1876 – 4 February 1943) was an Imperial Japanese Army commander of the Chōsen Army of Japan in Korea during the Mukden Incident and the invasion of Manchuria, and a Japanese politician and the 33rd Prime Minister of Japan from 2 February 1937 to 4 June 1937.Taketora Ogata
Taketora Ogata (緒方 竹虎, Ogata Taketora, January 30, 1888 – January 28, 1956) was a Japanese journalist, Vice President of the Asahi Shimbun newspaper and later a politician. During the war, he joined the Imperial Rule Assistance Association. After the end of the war, he was purged from public service. Later, he became the Chief Secretary of the 4th Yoshida Cabinet, Vice President and then President of the Liberal Party of Japan of Japan, but he died before becoming a prime minister.Tatsunosuke Yamazaki
Tatsunosuke Yamazaki (山崎 達之輔, Yamazaki Tatsunosuke, 19 June 1880 – 15 March 1948) was a Japanese was a politician and cabinet minister in the Taishō and early Shōwa periods of the Japan. His brother, Iwao Yamazaki was also a politician and cabinet minister, and his nephew Heihachiro Yamazaki was later a prominent member of the post-war Liberal-Democratic Party.Toshio Shimada
Toshio Shimada (島田 俊雄, Shimada Toshio, 19 June 1877 – 21 December 1947) was a politician and cabinet minister in the pre-war Empire of Japan.Tsuneo Kanemitsu
Tsuneo Kanemitsu (金光 庸夫, Kanemitsu Tsuneo, also as known as Kanemitsu Yasuo; March 13, 1877 – March 5, 1955), was an entrepreneur, politician and cabinet minister in the Empire of Japan, serving eight terms as a member of the Lower House of the Diet of Japan, and twice times as a cabinet minister. He also served twice in the post-war Lower House of the Diet.Yonezō Maeda
Yonezō Maeda (前田 米蔵, Maeda Yonezō, 17 February 1888 – 18 March 1954) was a politician and cabinet minister in the pre-war Empire of Japan.
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As with all other Japanese politicians, Maeda was forced to join the Taisei Yokusankai created by Prime Minister Fumimaro Konoe in 1940, and served as the party's Chairman for Administrative Affairs. During World War II, Maeda served as Minister of Transport and Communications, under the Koiso administration.
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Yukio Sakurauchi (櫻内 幸雄, Sakurauchi Yukio, 14 October 1888 – 9 October 1947) was an entrepreneur, politician and cabinet minister in the pre-war Empire of Japan. He was the father of prominent post-war politician Yoshio Sakurauchi, and grandfather of controversial politician Seiichi Ota.
Sakurauchi was born in former Hirose Town Shimane Prefecture, in what is now part of the city of Yasugi, Shimane. The Sakurauchi family were former samurai in the service of Matsue Domain. His father relocated to Yonago in neighboring Tottori Prefecture in 1885, and started a company to produce and sell Water wheels. The venture did not succeed, and the family moved to Sakaiminato starting a business in commodity trading in 1886, followed by tofu production and retail sales in 1887. Sakurauchi left home in 1893 to work in a paper mill in Yokohama in 1893 for minimal wages. In 1895, he was in Tokyo, working as a typesetter and artisan for a newspaper, becoming a reporter for the Nippon Telegraph news agency in 1902, and executive director of the Ogura Racing Association by 1907. Making a fortune in speculating in horses by 1908, he was appointed president of Saitama Electric Light Company in 1909 and president of Okayama Hydroelectric Company in 1917.
Sakurauchi was elected to the Lower House of the Diet of Japan in the 1920 General Election, under the Rikken Seiyūkai banner, and was reelected for six terms. Sakurauchi became president of Ibiden company in 1925. He subsequently changed his political party affiliation to the Rikken Minseitō, and served as Secretary-General of the party in 1927.
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After the surrender of Japan, Sakurauchi was purged from public office in 1946 along with all other members of the wartime administration. He died the following year.