Liberal Democratic Party
PresidentFumio Kishida
Vice PresidentTarō Asō
Secretary-GeneralToshimitsu Motegi
Councilors LeaderMasakazu Sekiguchi
Founded15 November 1955; 67 years ago (1955-11-15)
Preceded by
Headquarters11–23, Nagatachō 1-chome, Chiyoda, Tokyo 100-8910, Japan
NewspaperJiyū Minshu[1]
Think tankPolicy Research Council
Membership (2021)Increase 1,136,445[2]
Political positionRight-wing[A][4]
  •   Red[a][5]
  •   Green[b]
Slogan"日本を守る責任"[6][failed verification]
"Nihon o mamoru sekinin"
("The responsibility to protect Japan")
118 / 245
260 / 465
Prefectural assembly members[8]
1,283 / 2,598
City, special ward, town and village assembly members[8]
2,179 / 29,425
Election symbol
Liberal Democratic Party (Japan) Emblem.svg

^ A: The Liberal Democratic Party is a big-tent conservative party.[9][10] The LDP has been also described as centre-right,[c][17] but the LDP also has far-right[d][18] and ultra-conservative[19] factions, including members belonging to the ultranationalist Nippon Kaigi (see List of members of Nippon Kaigi).

The Liberal Democratic Party (自由民主党, Jiyū-Minshutō), frequently abbreviated to LDP or Jimintō (自民党), is a conservative[20] political party in Japan.

The LDP was formed in 1955 as a merger of two conservative parties; the Liberal Party and the Japan Democratic Party. Since its foundation, the LDP has been in power almost continuously—a period called the 1955 System—except between 1993 and 1994, and again from 2009 to 2012. In the 2012 election, it regained control of the government.[21] After the 2021 and 2022 elections it holds 261 seats in the House of Representatives and 119 seats in the House of Councillors, and in coalition with Komeito since 1999, a governing majority in both houses.

The LDP is often described as a big tent conservative party.[22] While lacking a cohesive political ideology, the party's platform has historically supported increased defense spending and maintaining close ties with the United States.[23] The party's history and internal composition have been characterized by intense factionalism ever since its emergence in 1955, with its parliamentary members currently split among six factions, each of which vies for influence in the party and the government.[24][25] The incumbent Prime Minister and party President is Fumio Kishida, the leader of the party's moderate Kōchikai faction.


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Launching convention, 15 November 1955
Launching convention, 15 November 1955

The LDP was formed in 1955[26] as a merger between two of Japan's political parties, the Liberal Party (自由党, Jiyutō, 1950–1955, led by Shigeru Yoshida) and the Japan Democratic Party (日本民主党, Nihon Minshutō, 1954–1955, led by Ichirō Hatoyama), both right-wing conservative parties, as a united front against the then popular Japan Socialist Party (日本社会党, Nipponshakaitō), now the Social Democratic Party (社会民主党, Shakaiminshutō). The party won the following elections, and Japan's first conservative government with a majority was formed by 1955. It would hold majority government until 1993.[27]

The LDP began with reforming Japan's international relations, ranging from entry into the United Nations, to establishing diplomatic ties with the Soviet Union. Its leaders in the 1950s also made the LDP the main government party, and in all the elections of the 1950s, the LDP won the majority vote, with the only other opposition coming from left-wing politics, made up of the Japan Socialist Party and the Japanese Communist Party.

From the 1950s through the 1990s, the United States Central Intelligence Agency and Federal Bureau of Investigation spent millions of dollars attempting to influence elections in Japan to favor the LDP against more leftist parties such as the Socialists and the Communists,[28][29] although this was not revealed until the mid-1990s when it was exposed by The New York Times.[30]

1960s to 1990s

For the majority of the 1960s, the LDP (and Japan) were led by Eisaku Satō, beginning with the hosting of the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, and ending in 1972 with Japanese neutrality in the Vietnam War and with the beginning of the Japanese asset price bubble. By the end of the 1970s, the LDP went into its decline, where even though it held the reins of government many scandals plagued the party, while the opposition (now joined with the Kōmeitō (1962–1998)) gained momentum.

In 1976, in the wake of the Lockheed bribery scandals, a handful of younger LDP Diet members broke away and established their own party, the New Liberal Club (Shin Jiyu Kurabu). A decade later, however, it was reabsorbed by the LDP.

By the late 1970s, the Japan Socialist Party, the Japanese Communist Party, and the Komeito along with the international community used major pressure to have Japan switch diplomatic ties from Taiwan (Republic of China) to the People's Republic of China.

In 1983, the LDP was a founding member of the International Democrat Union.[31]

Liberal Democratic Hall Bldg., Headquarters of the LDP in Tokyo
Liberal Democratic Hall Bldg., Headquarters of the LDP in Tokyo

The LDP managed to consistently win elections for over three decades, and the LDP's decades in power allowed it to establish a highly stable process of policy formation. This process would not have been possible if other parties had secured parliamentary majorities. LDP strength was based on an enduring, although not unchallenged, coalition of big business, small business, agriculture, professional groups, and other interests. Elite bureaucrats collaborated closely with the party and interest groups in drafting and implementing policy. In a sense, the party's success was a result not of its internal strength but of its weakness. It lacked a strong, nationwide organization or consistent ideology with which to attract voters. Its leaders were rarely decisive, charismatic, or popular. But it functioned efficiently as a locus for matching interest group money and votes with bureaucratic power and expertise. This arrangement resulted in corruption, but the party could claim credit for helping to create economic growth and a stable, middle-class Japan.[citation needed]

Despite winning the 1986 general election by a landslide, by the end of 1980s, the LDP started to suffer setbacks in elections due to unpopular policies on trade liberalisation and tax, as well as a scandal involving their leader Sōsuke Uno and the Recruit scandal. The party lost its majority in the House of Councillors for the first time in 34 years in the 1989 election.[32]

Out of power

The LDP managed to hold on to power in 1990 Japanese general election despite some losses. In 1993, the end of the miracle economy and other reasons such as the recruit scandal led to the LDP losing its majority in that year's general election.

Seven opposition parties—including several formed by LDP dissidents—formed a government headed by LDP dissident Morihiro Hosokawa of the Japan New Party who became the prime minister preceded by Kiichi Miyazawa. However, the LDP was still far and away the largest party in the House of Representatives, with well over 200 seats; no other party crossed the 80-seat mark. Yohei Kono became the president of the LDP preceded by Kiichi Miyazawa, he was the first non-prime minister LDP leader as the leader of the opposition.

In 1994, the Socialist Party and New Party Sakigake left the ruling coalition, joining the LDP in the opposition. The remaining members of the coalition tried to stay in power as a makeshift minority government, but this failed when the LDP and the Socialists, bitter rivals for 40 years, formed a majority coalition. The new government was dominated by the LDP, but it allowed a Socialist to occupy the Prime Minister's chair (Tomiichi Murayama) until 1996 when the LDP's Ryutaro Hashimoto took over.


In the 1996 election, the LDP made some gains but was still 12 seats short of a majority. However, no other party could possibly form a government, and Hashimoto formed a solidly LDP minority government. Through a series of floor-crossings, the LDP regained its majority within a year.

The party was practically unopposed until 1998 when the opposition Democratic Party of Japan was formed. This marked the beginning of the opposing parties' gains in momentum, especially in the 2003 and 2004 Parliamentary Elections, that would not slow for another 12 years.[citation needed]

In the dramatically paced 2003 House of Representatives elections, the LDP won 237 seats, while the DPJ won 177 seats. In the 2004 House of Councillors elections, in the seats up for grabs, the LDP won 49 seats and the DPJ 50, though in all seats (including those uncontested) the LDP still had a total of 114. Because of this electoral loss, former Secretary-General Shinzo Abe turned in his resignation, but Party President Koizumi merely demoted him in rank, and he was replaced by Tsutomu Takebe.[citation needed]

On 10 November 2003, the New Conservative Party (Hoshu Shintō) was absorbed into the LDP, a move which was largely because of the New Conservative Party's poor showing in the 2003 general election. The LDP formed a coalition with the conservative Buddhist New Komeito (party founded by Soka Gakkai) from Obuchi Second shuffle Cabinet (1999–2000).[citation needed]

After a victory in the 2005 Japanese general election, the LDP held an absolute majority in the Japanese House of Representatives and formed a coalition government with the New Komeito Party. Shinzo Abe succeeded then-Prime Minister Junichirō Koizumi as the president of the party on 20 September 2006. The party suffered a major defeat in the election of 2007, however, and lost its majority in the upper house for the first time in its history.[citation needed]

The LDP remained the largest party in both houses of the Diet, until 29 July 2007, when the LDP lost its majority in the upper house.[33]

In a party leadership election held on 23 September 2007, the LDP elected Yasuo Fukuda as its president. Fukuda defeated Tarō Asō for the post, receiving 330 votes against 197 votes for Aso.[34][35] However Fukuda resigned suddenly in September 2008, and Asō became Prime Minister after winning the presidency of the LDP in a five-way election.

In the 2009 general election, the LDP was roundly defeated, winning only 118 seats—easily the worst defeat of a sitting government in modern Japanese history, and also the first real transfer of political power in the post-war era. Accepting responsibility for this severe defeat, Aso announced his resignation as LDP president on election night. Sadakazu Tanigaki was elected leader of the party on 28 September 2009,[36] after a three-way race, becoming only the second LDP leader who was not simultaneously prime minister.[citation needed]


The party's support continued to decline, with prime ministers changing rapidly, and in the 2009 House of Representatives elections the LDP lost its majority, winning only 118 seats, marking the only time they would be out of the majority other than a brief period in 1993.[37][38] Since that time, numerous party members have left to join other parties or form new ones, including Your Party (みんなの党, Minna no Tō),[citation needed] the Sunrise Party of Japan (たちあがれ日本, Tachiagare Nippon),[39] the New Renaissance Party (新党改革, Shintō Kaikaku), and the Party of Hope (希望の党, Kibō no Tō).[citation needed] The party had some success in the 2010 House of Councilors election, netting 13 additional seats and denying the DPJ a majority.[40][41] Abe became the president again in September 2012 after a five-way race. The LDP returned to power with its ally New Komeito after winning a clear majority in the lower house general election on 16 December 2012 after just over three years in opposition. Shinzo Abe became Prime Minister for the second time preceded by Yoshihiko Noda who was the leader of the DPJ.[42]

In July 2015, the party pushed for expanded military powers to fight in foreign conflict through Shinzo Abe and the support of Komeito party.[43]

Yoshihide Suga took over from Shinzo Abe in September 2020 after a three-way race. After Suga declined to run for re-election, successor Fumio Kishida led the party to an inevitable victory in the October 2021 Japanese general election after a four-way race.[44]

Ideology and political stance

The LDP is usually associated with conservatism[20] and Japanese nationalism.[45] The party though has not espoused a well-defined, unified ideology or political philosophy, due to its long-term government, and has been described as a "catch-all" party.[10] Its members hold a variety of positions that could be broadly defined as being to the right of main opposition parties. Many of its ministers, including current Prime Minister Fumio Kishida[46] and former Prime Ministers Yoshihide Suga,[47] Shinzo Abe are affiliated with the parliamentary league of Nippon Kaigi, an ultranationalist and traditionalist lobby group.[e][50] In Japanese politics, the convention is to classify the Liberal Democratic Party and the Japanese Communist Party as occupying the conservative and progressive ends of the ideological spectrum respectively, however this classification faces challenges, especially among younger generations, after the 1990s.[51]

Anti-South Korean sentiment

Main article: Anti-Korean sentiment in Japan § Politics

The LDP's Japanese nationalism shows a pragmatic nature, divided internally into realist doves and nationalist hawks, as it considers China's strong economic position. However, South Korea has much weaker economic and national power than Japan, Japan's right-wing conservatives, including the LDP, show almost entirely hawkish diplomacy in South Korea. This causes great political friction with South Korean liberals with anti-imperialist sentiment toward China and Japan.[52] VANK, a South Korean liberal-nationalist group, accused Japanese conservatives of apologizing only to China and not to South Korea for forced labor in World War II in July 2022.[53] Almost all major South Korean media outlets point out that the LDP and its politicians have anti-Korean sentiment, and that the party's main support base is "Hate of [South] Korean" (Korean혐한; Hanja嫌韓).[54][55][56] Western experts say that the conflict between the two countries intensifies the most when a conservative (mainly LDP) regime is established in Japan and a liberal (mainly DPK) regime is established in South Korea.[52]

The 2019–2020 Japan–South Korea trade dispute was triggered by the Japanese government's exclusion of South Korea from the trade 'white list'. Germany's newspaper, Süddeutsche Zeitung criticized only the Japan's government, because the Japanese politicians and Japan's governments have never properly reflected on their historical perceptions related to Japanese war crimes in World War II.[57] According to Michael J. Green in January 2022, presidential candidates in the 2022 South Korean presidential election are willing to improve relations with Japan, but Japanese political leaders are not willing to improve relations with South Korea.[58]

Major LDP politicians tend to deny that comfort women were forced sexual slavery by the Empire of Japan. Many LDP members also take a negationist view of other war crimes (ex: forced labor, massacre, etc) against other Koreans committed by the Empire of Japan.[57][59][60][61][62]


In the case of the LDP administration under the 1955 System in Japan, their degree of economic control was stronger than that of Western conservative governments; it was also positioned closer to social democracy.[63] Since the 1970s, the oil crisis has slowed economic growth and increased the resistance of urban citizens to policies that favor farmers.[64] To maintain its dominant position, the LDP sought to expand party supporters by incorporating social security policies and pollution measures advocated by opposition parties.[64] It was also historically closely positioned to corporate statism.[65][66]

Before the 1990s, the LDP was in a liberal-conservative and conservative-liberal position with a more moderate element of nationalism. The LDP opposed the JSP's socialist policy. However, after many liberals in the party left the party since the 1990s, the LDP is not classified as a liberal party.[67][68]


During the 2021 general election the released LDP policy manifesto, titled "Create a new era together with you" included among other things support for:[69][70][71]


At the apex of the LDP's formal organization is the president (総裁, sōsai), who can serve three[73] three-year terms (The presidential term was increased from two years to three years in 2002 and from two to three terms in 2017). When the party has a parliamentary majority, the party president is the prime minister. The choice of party president is formally that of a party convention composed of Diet members and local LDP figures, but in most cases, they merely approved the joint decision of the most powerful party leaders. To make the system more democratic, Prime Minister Takeo Fukuda introduced a "primary" system in 1978, which opened the balloting to some 1.5 million LDP members. The process was so costly and acrimonious, however, that it was subsequently abandoned in favor of the old "smoke-filled room" method—so-called in allusion to the notion of closed discussions held in small rooms filled with tobacco smoke.

After the party president, the most important LDP officials are the Secretary-General (kanjicho), the chairmen of the LDP Executive Council (somukaicho), and of the Policy Affairs Research Council or "PARC" (政務調査会, seimu chōsakai).


Main article: President of the Liberal Democratic Party (Japan)

As of 25 June 2021:

Position Name House Faction
President Fumio Kishida Representatives Kōchikai
Vice-President Tarō Asō Representatives Asō (Shikōkai)
Secretary-General Toshimitsu Motegi Representatives Takeshita (Heisei Kenkyūkai)
Executive Acting Secretary-General Hiroshi Kajiyama Representatives None
Acting Secretary-General Kazunori Tanaka Representatives Asō (Shikōkai)
Chief Deputy Secretary-General Tsuyoshi Yamaguchi Representatives Nikai (Shisuikai)
Chairperson, Finance Committee Ryū Shionoya Representatives Hosoda (Seiwa Seisaku Kenkyūkai)
Chairperson, Election Strategy Committee Toshiaki Endo Representatives Nakatani (Yurinkai)
Chairperson, Party Organization and Campaign Headquarters Yuko Obuchi Representatives Takeshita (Heisei Kenkyūkai)
Chairperson, Public Relations Headquarters Taro Kono Councillors Asō (Shikōkai)
Chairperson, Diet Affairs Committee Hiroshi Moriyama Representatives Ishihara (Kinmirai Seiji Kenkyūkai)
Chairperson, Party Ethics Committee Seiichi Eto Councillors Nikai (Shisuikai)
Chairperson, General Assembly of Party Members of the House of Representatives Hajime Funada Representatives Takeshita (Heisei Kenkyūkai)
Chairperson, LDP Executive Council Tatsuo Fukuda Representatives Hosoda (Seiwa Seisaku Kenkyūkai)
Chairperson, Joint Plenary Meeting of Party Members of Both Houses of the Diet Hidehisa Otsuji Councillors Takeshita (Heisei Kenkyūkai)
Chairperson, Policy Affairs Research Council Sanae Takaichi Representatives None
Chairperson, General Assembly of Party Members of the House of Councillors Masakazu Sekiguchi Councillors Takeshita (Heisei Kenkyūkai)
Secretary-General for the LDP in the House of Councillors Hiroshige Sekō Councillors Hosoda (Seiwa Seisaku Kenkyūkai)
Executive Acting Secretary-General for the LDP in the House of Councillors Masaharu Nakagawa Councillors Hosoda (Seiwa Seisaku Kenkyūkai)
Chairperson, LDP Policy Board in the House of Councillors Satoshi Ninoyu Councillors Takeshita (Heisei Kenkyūkai)
Chairperson, LDP Diet Affairs Committee in the House of Councillors Shinsuke Suematsu Councillors Hosoda (Seiwa Seisaku Kenkyūkai)
President, Central Institute of Politics Gen Nakatani Representatives None
Chairperson, Headquarters for Promoting Administrative Reform Vacant
Chairperson, Headquarters for North Korean Abductions Eriko Yamatani Councillors Hosoda (Seiwa Seisaku Kenkyūkai)
Chairperson, Headquarters for Party and Political System Reform Implementation Yasuhisa Shiozaki Representatives None
Chairperson, Headquarters for the Promotion of Revision of the Constitution Seishirō Etō Representatives Hosoda (Seiwa Seisaku Kenkyūkai)
Chairperson, Headquarters for Accelerating Reconstruction after the Great East Japan Earthquake Fukushiro Nukaga Representatives Takeshita (Heisei Kenkyūkai)
Chairperson, Headquarters for the Action Committee for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games Toshiaki Endo Representatives None
Chairperson, Headquarters for Overcoming Population Decline and Regional Revitalization Takeo Kawamura Representatives Nikai (Shisuikai)
Chairperson, Headquarters for Promoting Dynamic Engagement of All Citizens Kuniko Inoguchi Councillors Asō (Shikōkai)
Chairperson, Headquarters for North Korea's Nuclear Tests Toshihiro Nikai Representatives Nikai (Shisuikai)
Chairperson, Economic Strategy Headquarters for Building the Future Society based on AI Ryū Shionoya Representatives Hosoda (Seiwa Seisaku Kenkyūkai)
Chairperson, Headquarters for Promoting the Establishment of a Disaster Resilient Japan Toshihiro Nikai Representatives Nikai (Shisuikai)
Chairperson, Bidding Headquarters for the EXPO 2025 Osaka Toshihiro Nikai Representatives Nikai (Shisuikai)
Chairperson, Headquarters for the TPP, Japan-EU EPA and the Japan-U.S. TAG Hiroshi Moriyama Representatives Ishihara (Kinmirai Seiji Kenkyūkai)


Main article: Factions in the Liberal Democratic Party (Japan)

Since the genesis of the Liberal Democratic Party in 1955, factions have existed, but they have changed over time. Despite this change, factions in the party today can be traced back to their 1955 roots, a testament to the stability and institutionalized nature of Liberal Democratic Party factions.[74] The party's history and internal composition have been characterized by intense factionalism ever since its emergence in 1955, with its parliamentary members currently split among six factions, each of which vies for influence in the party and the government.[25] The incumbent Prime Minister and party President, Fumio Kishida, is the leader of the party's Kōchikai faction.

Current factions in the LDP include:


The LDP had over five million party members in 1990.[citation needed] By December 2017 membership had dropped to approximately one million members.[2]

Performance in national elections until 1993

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See also: Elections in Japan

Election statistics show that, while the LDP had been able to secure a majority in the twelve House of Representatives elections from May 1958 to February 1990, with only three exceptions (December 1976, October 1979, and December 1983), its share of the popular vote had declined from a high of 57.8 percent in May 1958 to a low of 41.8 percent in December 1976, when voters expressed their disgust with the party's involvement in the Lockheed scandal.[citation needed] The LDP vote rose again between 1979 and 1990. Although the LDP won an unprecedented 300 seats in the July 1986 balloting, its share of the popular vote remained just under 50 percent. The figure was 46.2 percent in February 1990. Following the three occasions when the LDP found itself a handful of seats shy of a majority, it was obliged to form alliances with conservative independents and the breakaway New Liberal Club. In a cabinet appointment after the October 1983 balloting, a non-LDP minister, a member of the New Liberal Club, was appointed for the first time. On 18 July 1993, in lower house elections, the LDP fell so far short of a majority that it was unable to form a government.

In the upper house, the July 1989 election represented the first time that the LDP was forced into a minority position. In previous elections, it had either secured a majority on its own or recruited non-LDP conservatives to make up the difference of a few seats.

The political crisis of 1988–89 was testimony to both the party's strength and its weakness. In the wake of a succession of issues—the pushing of a highly unpopular consumer tax through the Diet in late 1988, the Recruit insider trading scandal, which tainted virtually all top LDP leaders and forced the resignation of Prime Minister Takeshita Noboru in April (a successor did not appear until June), the resignation in July of his successor, Uno Sōsuke, because of a sex scandal, and the poor showing in the upper house election—the media provided the Japanese with a detailed and embarrassing dissection of the political system. By March 1989, popular support for the Takeshita cabinet as expressed in public opinion polls had fallen to 9 percent. Uno's scandal, covered in magazine interviews of a "kiss and tell" geisha, aroused the fury of female voters.

Uno's successor, the eloquent if obscure Kaifu Toshiki, was successful in repairing the party's battered image. By January 1990, talk of the waning of conservative power and a possible socialist government had given way to the realization that, like the Lockheed affair of the mid-1970s, the Recruit scandal did not signal a significant change in who ruled Japan. The February 1990 general election gave the LDP, including affiliated independents, a comfortable, if not spectacular, majority: 275 of 512 total representatives.

In October 1991, Prime Minister Kaifu Toshiki failed to attain passage of a political reform bill and was rejected by the LDP, despite his popularity with the electorate. He was replaced as prime minister by Miyazawa Kiichi, a long-time LDP stalwart. Defections from the LDP began in the spring of 1992, when Hosokawa Morihiro left the LDP to form the Japan New Party. Later, in the summer of 1993, when the Miyazawa government also failed to pass political reform legislation, thirty-nine LDP members joined the opposition in a no-confidence vote. In the ensuing lower house election, more than fifty LDP members formed the Shinseitō and the Sakigake parties, denying the LDP the majority needed to form a government.

Election results

Legislative results

House of Representatives

House of Representatives
Election Leader No. of
Seats Position Constituency votes PR Block votes Status
No. ± Share No. Share No. Share
1958 Nobusuke Kishi 413
289 / 467
61.8% 1st 22,976,846 57.80% Government
1960 Hayato Ikeda 399
300 / 467
Increase 11 64.2% Steady 1st 22,740,272 57.56% Government
1963 359
283 / 467
Decrease 17 60.5% Steady 1st 22,423,915 54.67% Government
1967 Eisaku Satō 342
277 / 486
Decrease 6 56.9% Steady 1st 22,447,838 48.80% Government
1969 328
288 / 486
Increase 11 59.2% Steady 1st 22,381,570 47.63% Government
1972 Kakuei Tanaka 339
271 / 491
Decrease 17 55.1% Steady 1st 24,563,199 46.85% Government
1976 Takeo Miki 320
249 / 511
Decrease 22 48.7% Steady 1st 23,653,626 41.78% Government
1979 Masayoshi Ōhira 322
248 / 511
Decrease 1 48.5% Steady 1st 24,084,131 44.59% Government
1980 310
284 / 511
Increase 36 55.5% Steady 1st 28,262,442 47.88% Government
1983 Yasuhiro Nakasone 339
250 / 511
Decrease 34 48.9% Steady 1st 25,982,785 45.76% LDP-NLC coalition
1986 322
300 / 512
Increase 50 58.5% Steady 1st 29,875,501 49.42% Government
1990 Toshiki Kaifu 338
275 / 512
Decrease 25 53.7% Steady 1st 30,315,417 46.14% Government
1993 Kiichi Miyazawa 285
223 / 511
Decrease 52 43.6% Steady 1st 22,999,646 36.62% Opposition
(until 1994)
LDP-JSP-NPS coalition
(since 1994)
1996 Ryutaro Hashimoto 355
239 / 500
Increase 16 47.8% Steady 1st 21,836,096 38.63% 18,205,955 32.76% LDP-SDP-NPS coalition
2000 Yoshirō Mori 337
233 / 480
Decrease 6 48.5% Steady 1st 24,945,806 40.97% 16,943,425 28.31% LDP-Komeito-NCP coalition
2003 Junichiro Koizumi 336
237 / 480
Increase 4 49.3% Steady 1st 26,089,326 43.85% 20,660,185 34.96% LDP-Komeito coalition
2005 346
296 / 480
Increase 59 61.6% Steady 1st 32,518,389 47.80% 25,887,798 38.20% LDP-Komeito coalition
2009 Tarō Asō 326
119 / 480
Decrease 177 24.7% Decrease 2nd 27,301,982 38.68% 18,810,217 26.73% Opposition
2012 Shinzo Abe 337
294 / 480
Increase 175 61.2% Increase 1st 25,643,309 43.01% 16,624,457 27.79% LDP-Komeito coalition
2014 352
291 / 475
Decrease 3 61.2% Steady 1st 25,461,427 48.10% 17,658,916 33.11% LDP-Komeito coalition
2017 332
284 / 465
Decrease 7 61.0% Steady 1st 26,719,032 48.21% 18,555,717 33.28% LDP-Komeito coalition
2021 Fumio Kishida 338
259 / 465
Decrease 25 55.7% Steady 1st 27,626,235 48.08% 19,914,883 34.66% LDP-Komeito coalition

House of Councillors

House of Councillors
Election Leader Seats Nationwide[f] Prefecture Status
Total[g] Contested Number % Number %
1956 Ichirō Hatoyama
122 / 250
61 / 125
11,356,874 39.7% 14,353,960 48.4% Governing minority
1959 Nobusuke Kishi
132 / 250
71 / 125
12,120,598 41.2% 15,667,022 52.0% Governing majority
1962 Hayato Ikeda
142 / 250
69 / 125
16,581,637 46.4% 17,112,986 47.1% Governing majority
1965 Eisaku Satō
140 / 251
71 / 125
17,583,490 47.2% 16,651,284 44.2% Governing majority
137 / 250
69 / 125
20,120,089 46.7% 19,405,546 44.9% Governing majority
131 / 249
62 / 125
17,759,395 44.5% 17,727,263 44.0% Governing majority
1974 Kakuei Tanaka
126 / 250
62 / 125
23,332,773 44.3% 21,132,372 39.5% Governing majority
1977 Takeo Fukuda
125 / 249
63 / 125
18,160,061 35.8% 20,440,157 39.5% Governing minority
1980 Masayoshi Ōhira
135 / 250
69 / 125
23,778,190 43.3% 24,533,083 42.5% Governing majority
1983 Yasuhiro Nakasone
137 / 252
68 / 126
16,441,437 35.3% 19,975,034 43.2% Governing majority
143 / 252
72 / 126
22,132,573 38.58% 26,111,258 45.07% Governing majority
1989 Sōsuke Uno
109 / 252
36 / 126
15,343,455 27.32% 17,466,406 30.70% Governing minority
1992 Kiichi Miyazawa
106 / 252
68 / 126
14,961,199 33.29% 20,528,293 45.23% Governing minority
(until 1993)
LDP-JSP-NPS governing majority
(since 1994)
1995 Yōhei Kōno
111 / 252
46 / 126
10,557,547 25.40% 11,096,972 27.29% LDP-JSP-NPS governing majority
1998 Ryutaro Hashimoto
102 / 252
44 / 126
14,128,719 25.17% 17,033,851 30.45% LDP–(Lib.Komeitō) governing majority
(until 2000)
LDP–Komeitō–NCP governing majority
(since 2000)
2001 Junichiro Koizumi
111 / 247
64 / 121
21,114,727 38.57% 22,299,825 41.04% LDP–Komeitō–NCP governing majority
(until 2003)
LDP–Komeitō governing majority
(since 2003)
115 / 242
49 / 121
16,797,686 30.03% 19,687,954 35.08% LDP–Komeitō governing majority
2007 Shinzo Abe
83 / 242
37 / 121
16,544,696 28.1% 18,606,193 31.35% LDP–Komeitō governing minority
(until 2009)
(since 2009)
2010 Sadakazu Tanigaki
84 / 242
51 / 121
14,071,671 24.07% 19,496,083 33.38% Minority
(until 2012)
LDP–Komeitō governing minority
(since 2012)
2013 Shinzo Abe
115 / 242
65 / 121
18,460,404 34.7% 22,681,192 42.7% LDP–Komeitō governing majority
121 / 242
56 / 121
20,114,833 35.9% 22,590,793 39.9% LDP–Komeitō governing majority
113 / 245
57 / 124
17,712,373 35.37% 20,030,330 39.77% LDP–Komeitō governing majority
2022 Fumio Kishida
119 / 248
63 / 125
18,256,245 34.43% 20,603,298 38.74% LDP–Komeitō governing majority

Leadership elections

date 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th spoilt
5 April 1956 Ichirō Hatoyama Nobusuke Kishi Jōji Hayashi Tanzan Ishibashi
Mitsujirō Ishii
Shūji Masutani
Banboku Ohno
Ichirō Kōno
Mamoru Shigemitsu
Tsuruhei Matsuno
Hayato Ikeda
394 4 3 2 1
14 December 1956 First round Nobusuke Kishi Tanzan Ishibashi Mitsujirō Ishii 0
223 151 137
Runoff Tanzan Ishibashi Nobusuke Kishi 0
258 251
21 March 1957 Nobusuke Kishi Kenzō Matsumura Mitsujirō Ishii
Tokutarō Kitamura
471 2 1
14 January 1959 Nobusuke Kishi Kenzō Matsumura Banboku Ohno
Shigeru Yoshida
Mitsujirō Ishii
Shūji Masutani
Eisaku Satō
320 166 1
14 July 1960 First round Hayato Ikeda Mitsujirō Ishii Aiichirō Fujiyama Kenzō Matsumura Banboku Ohno 0
246 196 49 5 1
Runoff Hayato Ikeda Mitsujirō Ishii 0
302 194
14 July 1962 Hayato Ikeda Eisaku Satō Hisato Ichimada Nobusuke Kishi Aiichirō Fujiyama Shigeru Yoshida
Takeo Fukuda
Hitoshi Takahashi
Matsutarō Shōriki
391 17 6 5 3 2 1
10 July 1964 Hayato Ikeda Eisaku Satō Aiichirō Fujiyama Hirokichi Nadao 0
242 160 72 1
1 December 1964 Eisaku Satō One candidate (elected by Ikeda)
1 December 1966 Eisaku Satō Aiichirō Fujiyama Shigesaburō Maeo Hirokichi Nadao Uichi Noda Zentarō Kosaka Nobusuke Kishi
Kenzō Matsumura
Isamu Murakami
289 89 47 11 9 2 1
27 November 1968 Eisaku Satō Takeo Miki Shigesaburō Maeo Aiichirō Fujiyama 0
249 107 95 1
29 October 1970 Eisaku Satō Takeo Miki Saburō Chiba
Aiichirō Fujiyama
Tokuma Utsunomiya
353 111 1
5 July 1972 First round Kakuei Tanaka Takeo Fukuda Masayoshi Ōhira Takeo Miki 7
156 150 101 69
Runoff Kakuei Tanaka Takeo Fukuda 0
282 190
4 December 1974 Takeo Miki One candidate (elected by Vice-President Etsusaburō Shiina)
23 December 1976 Takeo Fukuda One candidate (elected by discussion at the general meeting of LDP National Diet members of both houses)
26 November 1978 Primaries
Masayoshi Ōhira Takeo Fukuda Yasuhiro Nakasone Toshio Kōmoto 0
748 pts 638 pts 93 pts 46 pts
Runoff Masayoshi Ōhira 2nd candidate withdrew
15 July 1980 Zenkō Suzuki One candidate (elected by Vice-President Eiichi Nishimura)
27 November 1980 Zenkō Suzuki One candidate
(re-elected without voting in the leadership election due to the expiration of the term of office of Suzuki)
24 November 1982 Primaries
Yasuhiro Nakasone Toshio Kōmoto Shintaro Abe Ichiro Nakagawa 0
559673 265078 80443 66041
Runoff Yasuhiro Nakasone 2nd and below candidates withdrew
30 October 1984 Yasuhiro Nakasone One candidate
(re-elected without voting in the leadership election due to the expiration of the term of office of Nakasone)
11 September 1986 Yasuhiro Nakasone Extension of term of office by one year
(Unanimously re-elected Nakasone's term of office at the general meeting of LDP National Diet members of both houses)
31 Octobe 1987 Noboru Takeshita One candidate (elected by Nakasone)
2 June 1989 Sōsuke Uno One candidate (elected by Takeshita)
8 August 1989 Toshiki Kaifu Yoshiro Hayashi Shintaro Ishihara 0
279 120 48
31 October 1989 Toshiki Kaifu One candidate
(re-elected without voting in the leadership election due to the expiration of the term of office of Kaifu)
27 October 1991 Kiichi Miyazawa Michio Watanabe Hiroshi Mitsuzuka 0
285 120 87
30 July 1993 Yōhei Kōno Michio Watanabe 0
208 159
30 September 1993 Yōhei Kōno One candidate
(re-elected without voting in the leadership election due to the expiration of the term of office of Kōno)
22 September 1995 Ryutaro Hashimoto Junichiro Koizumi 0
304 87
11 September 1997 Ryutaro Hashimoto One candidate
(re-elected without voting in the leadership election due to the expiration of the term of office of Hashimoto)
24 July 1998 Keizō Obuchi Seiroku Kajiyama Junichiro Koizumi 0
225 102 84
21 September 1999 Keizō Obuchi Koichi Kato Taku Yamasaki 0
350 113 51
5 April 2000 Yoshirō Mori One candidate (elected by discussion at the general meeting of LDP National Diet members of both houses)
24 April 2001 Junichiro Koizumi Ryutaro Hashimoto Tarō Asō (Shizuka Kamei withdrew after the ballot counting) 3
298 155 31
10 August 2001 Junichiro Koizumi One candidate
(re-elected without voting in the leadership election due to the expiration of the term of office of Koizumi)
20 September 2003 Junichiro Koizumi Shizuka Kamei Takao Fujii Masahiko Kōmura 0
399 139 65 54
20 September 2006 (Detail) Shinzo Abe Tarō Asō Sadakazu Tanigaki 1
464 136 102
23 September 2007 (Detail) Yasuo Fukuda Tarō Asō 1
330 197
22 September 2008 (Detail) Tarō Asō Kaoru Yosano Yuriko Koike Nobuteru Ishihara Shigeru Ishiba 2
351 66 46 37 25
28 September 2009 (Detail) Sadakazu Tanigaki Taro Kono Yasutoshi Nishimura 1
300 144 54
26 September 2012 First round Shigeru Ishiba Shinzo Abe Nobuteru Ishihara Nobutaka Machimura Yoshimasa Hayashi 1
199 141 96 34 27
Runoff Shinzo Abe Shigeru Ishiba 1
108 89
8 September 2015 Shinzo Abe One candidate
(re-elected without voting in the leadership election due to the expiration of the term of office of Abe)
20 September 2018 (Detail) Shinzo Abe Shigeru Ishiba 3
553 254
14 September 2020 (Detail) Yoshihide Suga Fumio Kishida Shigeru Ishiba 0
377 89 68
29 September 2021 (Detail) First round Fumio Kishida Taro Kono Sanae Takaichi Seiko Noda 1
256 255 188 63
Runoff Fumio Kishida Taro Kono 1
257 170


See also


  1. ^ since 2017
  2. ^ before 2017; English website
  3. ^ The Liberal Democratic Party has been also described as national-conservative,[11] socially conservative,[12][13] and liberal-conservative.[14][15] The Asahi Shimbun, a centre-left newspaper, evaluated that there is a liberal faction within the LDP (representatively, there is Kōchikai).[16]
  4. ^ Some sources also assessed that the LDP was founded with funds from ultranationalist, and some sources refer to the LDP as far-right ultranationalist:
    • Matthew Pointon, ed. (2017). Across Asia With A Lowlander. p. 12. ISBN 9780244043544. Ever since the culmination of the Second World War, the far right Liberal Democratic Party has firmly held the reigns of power, with only a couple of minor interruptions.
    • "Beautiful Harmony: Political Project Behind Japan's New Era Name – Analysis". eurasia review. 16 July 2019. The shifting dynamics around the new era name (gengō 元号) offers an opportunity to understand how the domestic politics of the LDP's project of ultranationalism is shaping a new Japan and a new form of nationalism.
    • Margaret DiCanio PhD, ed. (2004). Encyclopedia of Violence. iUniverse. ISBN 9780595316526. In 1955, with funds from the ultranationalists, the conservatives merged the Liberal Party with the Democratic Party to form the Liberal Democratic Party (LPD), which effectively held the Japanese Communist Party in check.
  5. ^ Some media outlets associate the LDP's nationalist politics with fascism or neo-fascism.[48][49]
  6. ^ From 1947 to 1980, 50 members were elected through a nationwide constituency, known as the "national block" (Plurality-at-large voting). It was replaced in 1983 by a proportional representation block with closed lists. In 2001, the PR block was reduced to 48 members with most open lists.
  7. ^ The Upper house is split in two classes, one elected every three years.


  1. ^ 機関紙誌のご案内. Liberal Democratic Party.
  2. ^ a b The Nihon Keizai Shinbun. 2 March 2020.
  3. ^ Glenn D. Hook; Julie Gilson; Christopher W. Hughes; Hugo Dobson (2001). Japan's International Relations: Politics, Economics and Security. Routledge. p. 58. ISBN 978-1-134-32806-2. Retrieved 24 September 2020. The LDP is a 'catch-all', diverse political party, which is reflected in its make-up and the party's complex and shifting range of views on Japan's international relations.
  4. ^
  5. ^ 日本に定着するか、政党のカラー [Will the colors of political parties settle in Japan?]. The Nikkei (in Japanese). Nikkei, Inc. 21 October 2017. Retrieved 5 October 2021.
  6. ^ "自民党". Retrieved 1 October 2021.
  7. ^ 党歌・シンボル. Retrieved 3 September 2018.
  8. ^ a b Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, party membership statistics for chief executives and assembly members in prefectures and municipalities: Prefectural and local assembly members and governors/mayors by political party as of 31 December 2021
  9. ^ Lucien Ellington, ed. (2009). Japan. ABC-CLIO. p. 81. ISBN 9781598841626.
  10. ^ a b Glenn D. Hook; Julie Gilson; Christopher W. Hughes; Hugo Dobson (2001). Japan's International Relations: Politics, Economics and Security. Routledge. p. 58. ISBN 978-1-134-32806-2.
  11. ^ "Japan's ruling conservatives have been returned to power, but amid voter frustration, challenges lurk for Kishida". The Conversation. 1 November 2021. Retrieved 26 November 2021. Japan's ruling conservative nationalist Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) will remain comfortably in power under its new prime minister Fumio Kishida, after the weekend's national election.
  12. ^ Magara, Hideko; Sacchi, Stefano, eds. (2013). The Politics of Structural Reforms: Social and Industrial Policy Change in Italy and Japan. Edward Elgar Publishing. p. 95. ISBN 978-0-85793-292-1. Retrieved 22 November 2020.
  13. ^ Pekkanen, Robert J.; Scheiner, Ethan; Reed, Steven R., eds. (2016). Japan decides 2014: the Japanese general election. Springer. pp. 104, 106. doi:10.1057/9781137552006. ISBN 978-1-349-56437-8. Retrieved 22 November 2020.
  14. ^ Karan, Pradyumna P. (2005), Japan in the 21st century: environment, economy, and society, University Press of Kentucky, ISBN 978-0813137773
  15. ^ William D. Hoover, ed. (2011). Historical Dictionary of Postwar Japan. Scarecrow Press. p. 211. ISBN 978-0-8108-7539-5.
  16. ^ "今さら聞けない?! 「保守」「リベラル」ってなんだ?" [Can't you ask about them now ?! What are "conservative" and "liberal"?] (in Japanese). Retrieved 5 June 2020. ところが、現実の政治はもっと複雑です。自民党にもリベラル派がたくさんいるからです。自民党は考え方の近い人たちが派閥というグループをつくっています。(Tr: However, real politics is more complicated. This is because there are many liberals in the LDP. The Liberal Democratic Party is made up of groups of people with similar ideas, called factions.)
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^ a b The Liberal Democratic Party is widely described as conservative:
  21. ^ Returns, Japan Election (16 December 2012). "Japan's election results in return of power to old guard". NY Times. Martin Fackler.
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  28. ^ Weiner, Tim (9 October 1994). "C.I.A. Spent Millions to Support Japanese Right in 50's and 60's". The New York Times. Retrieved 29 December 2007.
  29. ^ "Foreign Relations of the United States, 1964–1968, Vol. XXIX, Part 2, Japan". United States Department of State. 18 July 2006. Retrieved 29 December 2007.
  30. ^ Johnson, Chalmers (1995). "The 1955 System and the American Connection: A Bibliographic Introduction". JPRI Working Paper No. 11.
  31. ^ "International Democrat Union, minutes of founding meeting, 1983" (PDF).
  32. ^ Smith, Charles (10 August 1989). "Life after harakiri". Far Eastern Economic Review. p. 15–17.
  33. ^ Norimitsu Onishi; Yasuko Kamiizumi; Makiko Inoue (29 July 2007). "Premier's Party Suffers Big Defeat in Japan". The New York Times. Retrieved 29 July 2007.
  34. ^ Martig, Naomi (23 September 2007). "Japan's Ruling Party Chooses New Leader". VOA News. Archived from the original on 20 August 2008.
  35. ^ "Fukuda wins LDP race / Will follow in footsteps of father as prime minister"[permanent dead link], The Daily Yomiuri, 23 September 2007.
  36. ^ Sadakazu Tanigaki Elected LDP President "China Plus". Archived from the original on 10 March 2016. Retrieved 3 March 2016. Retrieved 6 October 2009.
  37. ^ "'Major win' for Japan opposition". BBC News. 30 August 2009. Retrieved 31 August 2009.
  38. ^ 衆院党派別得票数・率(比例代表) (in Japanese). Jiji. 31 August 2009. Archived from the original on 20 February 2014.
  39. ^ Martin, Alex (11 April 2010). "LDP defectors launch new political party". The Japan Times. Retrieved 11 October 2016.
  40. ^ "House of Councillors The National Diet of Japan". Retrieved 12 July 2015.
  41. ^ 参議院インターネット審議中継. Retrieved 12 July 2015.
  42. ^ "The Japan Times".
  43. ^ Soble, Jonathan (16 July 2015). "Japan Moves to Allow Military Combat for First Time in 70 Years". Archived from the original on 14 August 2016 – via
  44. ^ Murakami, Sakura; Park, Ju-min; Takenaka, Kiyoshi (1 November 2021). "Japan's Kishida defies expectations as ruling LDP easily keeps majority". Reuters. Retrieved 1 November 2021.
  45. ^ Sources describing the LDP as nationalist:
  46. ^ Mark, Craig (29 September 2021). "Who is Fumio Kishida, Japan's new prime minister?". The Conversation. Retrieved 26 July 2022.
  47. ^ "Abe's reshuffle promotes right-wingers" (Korea Joongang Daily – 2014/09/05)
  48. ^ "No, Japan Should Not Remilitarize". Jacobin magazine. 24 October 2021. Retrieved 28 November 2021. Carrying the legacy of Japanese fascism, the LDP (and particularly Nippon Kaigi) is the knowing driver of both this growing racism and nationalism and Japan's swelling military fervor. The synthesis of remilitarization with reactionary politics is embodied in the party's longtime leader, Shinzō Abe, Japan's longest-serving prime minister, who retired only last year due to his declining health.
  49. ^ "Shinzo Abe and the long history of Japanese political violence". The Spectator. 9 July 2022. Retrieved 3 March 2023. As the French judge at the trial, Henri Bernard, noted, Japan's wartime atrocities 'had a principal author [Hirohito] who escaped all prosecution and of whom in any case the present defendants could only be considered accomplices.' The result was that whereas ultranationalism became toxic in post-war Germany, in Japan neo-fascism — centred around the figure of the emperor — retained its allure and became mainstream albeit sotto voce within Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party.
  50. ^ Kato, Norihiro (13 September 2014). "Tea Party Politics in Japan". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 17 August 2016. Retrieved 29 November 2022.
  51. ^ Willy Jou, Masahisa Endo, ed. (2016). EGenerational Gap in Japanese Politics: A Longitudinal Study of Political Attitudes and Behaviour. Springer. p. 29. ISBN 9781137503428. Conventional wisdom, still dominant in media and academic circles, holds that the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and the Japanese Communist Party (JCP) occupy the conservative and progressive ends of the ideological spectrum, ...
  52. ^ a b Buruma, Ian (12 August 2019). "Opinion | Where the Cold War Never Ended". The New York Times. Retrieved 29 November 2022.
  53. ^ 일, 강제노역 사과 중국에만···반크 "사도광산 유네스코 등재 반대". Kyunghyang Shinmun (in Korean). 23 July 2022. Retrieved 29 November 2022.
  54. ^ ""일본 전철에 한글 표기는 낭비" 日 정치인 혐한 트윗". YTN.
  55. ^ ""한국은 약속이라는 개념이 없다"… 日정부, 혐한 분위기 팽배". 조선일보. 15 February 2021.
  56. ^ ""일방적 구애" 대일 저자세 외교…과정도 결과도 부적절했다". 한겨레. 23 September 2022. 기시다 총리로선 확실한 지지기반인 '반한·혐한' 세력의 반대를 무릅쓰고, 한-일 관계 개선을 위한 정상회담에 나설 국내 정치적 동기가 약하다는 뜻이다.
  57. ^ a b "Schatten der Historie". Süddeutsche Zeitung. 29 August 2019. Retrieved 2 March 2023.
  58. ^ ""한국 대선 결과, 바이든 행정부 아시아 정책에 상당한 영향"".
  59. ^ ""징용은 강제노동이 아니다"...일본 자민당,조선인 강제노동 부정 움직임 구체화" ["Employment is not forced labor"... Japanese LDP has embodied a move to deny forced labor for Koreans.]. 경향신문. 15 July 2015.
  60. ^ "일본, 1월 유엔서 "일제 징용은 강제노동 아냐"···위안부도 부정" [Japan said at the United Nation in January, "issue of conscription of [Koreans] by the Japanese Empire is not forced labor", and denied comfort women.]. 경향신문. 6 March 2023.
  61. ^ "기시다, 독일 총리에 소녀상 철거 요청…"반응 안 좋아"(종합2보)" [Kishida called on the German Chancellor to remove the Statue of Peace... Kishida said, ""[German Chancellor] did not respond well."]. 연합뉴스. 11 May 2022.
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  79. ^ Since the leadership election before 1972 is not a candidacy system, votes for members who did not campaign are also calculated as valid votes.
  80. ^ Primary election by general party members. With a point system in which 1000 votes are calculated as 1 point and distributed proportionally to the top two candidates, the two candidates in the primary election will advance to runoff by members of the National Diet.
  81. ^ Primary election by general party members. With a total vote system, the top three candidates will advance to runoff.