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Japanese liberalism (自由主義 or リベラリズム)[note 1] formed in the nineteenth century as a reaction against traditional society. In the twentieth century 'liberal' (自由) gradually became a synonym for conservative, and today the main conservative party in the country is named Liberal Democratic Party (Jiyu Minshuto). The defunct Democratic Party (Minshuto) was considered in part a centrist-liberal party, as are most parties which derived from it. The liberal character of the Liberal League (Jiyu Rengo) is disputed, as it is also considered to be conservative by some. Liberals in Japan are generally considered united by one major factor: their opposition to changing the post-World War II constitution forbidding the creation of a national military.[2] This article is limited to liberal (リベラル) parties with substantial support, proved by having had representation in parliament. The sign ⇒ means a reference to another party in that scheme. For inclusion in this scheme it isn't necessary that parties labelled themselves "liberal".


From Public Society of Patriots until Constitutional Politics Party

From Constitutional Progressive Party to Reform Club

From Constitutional Association of Allies to Constitutional Democratic Party

Authentic Constitutional Party of Political Friendship

From Renewal Party to Liberal Party (1993)

New Party Harbinger

Democratic Party of Japan (1998–2016)

CDP and DPP (2016–present)

Liberal leaders

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See also


  1. ^ In Japan, American and European style "liberal" / "liberalism" is often referred to as "リベラル" / "リベラリズム" in Katakana.[1] The term "自由主義" in Kanji is also although synonymous with "リベラリズム", but "自由主義" is also used by conservatives, including LDP, in a similar sense to anti-communism or economic liberalism.


  1. ^ "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 15 May 2020.
  2. ^ Brasor, Philip (21 October 2017). "Identifying the 'liberal' in Japanese politics". The Japan Times. Retrieved 26 October 2017.