World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Tetsu Katayama

Tetsu Katayama
片山 哲
Prime Minister of Japan
In office
24 May 1947 – 10 March 1948
Monarch Shōwa
Governor Douglas MacArthur
Preceded by Shigeru Yoshida
Succeeded by Hitoshi Ashida
Personal details
Born (1887-07-28)28 July 1887
Tanabe, Japan
Died 30 May 1978(1978-05-30) (aged 90)
Political party Democratic Socialist Party (1928–1978)
Other political
Socialist Party (Before 1948)
Alma mater Tokyo Imperial University
Religion Christianity (Christian socialism)
Katayama's cabinet.

Tetsu Katayama (片山 哲 Katayama Tetsu, 28 July 1887 – 30 May 1978) was a Japanese politician and the 46th prime minister from 24 May 1947 to 10 March 1948. He bears the distinction of having been the first socialist to serve as prime minister of Japan.


  • Early life 1
  • Early political life 2
  • Prime Minister and later life 3
  • Honours 4
  • See also 5
  • References 6

Early life

He was born in Tanabe, Wakayama Prefecture on 28 July 1887.[1] He attended Tokyo Imperial University and received a bachelor's degree in law.[1] Raised in the Christian faith, he was strongly influenced by the Christian Socialism of Abe Isoo. After graduating, he opened a law office in a rented YMCA dormitory, and worked as an attorney.[1]

Early political life

Katayama became secretary-general of the Social People's Party when it was established in 1926.[1] He was elected to the House of Representatives, representing Kanagawa Prefecture, in 1930.[1] Later in 1932, he joined the executive committee of the Socialist Masses Party. However, he was removed from the party, since he did not participated in the session of the House where Takao Saito was expelled from the House due to his antimilitary speech.[1] After World War II, Katayama began to serve as secretary-general of the Japan Socialist Party when it was established in November 1945.[1] Next in September 1946, he became the chairman of the party's executive committee.[1]

Prime Minister and later life

Following the 1947 elections, in which the Socialist Party came in first, Katayama formed a coalition government with the Democratic Party and the Citizens' Cooperation Party. Despite leading a short-lived administration, Katayama's time in office saw the enactment of a wide range of progressive social reforms, such as the establishment of Japan's first Labour Ministry,[2] an Unemployment Compensation Act and an Unemployment Insurance Act, and the overhaul revision of the Civil Code, whose section on the family institution was completely rewritten (to provide, for instance, the eldest son with a greater inheritance share).[3][4]

The Labour Standards Act of September 1947 introduced maternity leave for a five weekly mandatory post-natal period, and prohibited dismissal of women during maternity leave and for thirty days after the end of the leave, although not all workers were covered.[5] In addition, the law provided for equal pay for equal work.[6] The Employment Security Law of November 1947 contained authority for the government to operate a system of free public employment exchanges on a broader and more democratic basis than under the former Employment Exchange Law. It also provided for public services to the handicapped in securing employment, and outlawed labor bosses and other undemocratic forms of labor recruitment.[7] The Child Welfare Law of December 1947 extended special protection to abused, abandoned, and neglected children, guaranteed the privacy rights of children born out of wedlock, established health-care programmes for mothers and children, provided for prenatal care, outlawed the employment of minors in dangerous occupations, and abolished the practice of indentured labour. The legislation also laid the institutional foundation for a nationwide system of childcare centres, created standards for foster parentage, and made the state responsible for setting up and supervising orphanages and other juvenile institutions.[4]

The Law for the Elimination of Excessive Economic Concentration (passed in December 1947) provided for the dissolution of any company considered to be monopolistic,[8] while the “law on the expulsion of Zaibatsu-affiliated controls” of January 1948 enforced the resignation of Zaibatsu board members who were related closely to Zaibatsu families, while a measure was taken to ban on holding the concurrent board posts of their affiliated companies. In addition, a government employees law was enacted, the first group of Japanese Supreme Court justices was appointed, local government and the police were reorganised, the Ministries of Home Affairs, Navy, and War were abolished,[9] extensive revisions were made to criminal law, and progress was made on land reform.[10]

At the end of the 1950s, Katayama was also the president of the Japan's Temperance Union.[11] The influence of left-wing socialists such as Suzuki Mosaburō forced Katayama to resign early in his term. After his resignation, Katayama became a member of the Democratic Socialist Party and advocated the maintenance of the pacifist constitution, election reform, and formation of a global commonwealth. In 1963, Katayama left politics after he lost his seat in the general elections.[1]


From the corresponding article in the Japanese WorldHeritage

  • Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun (1964)
  • Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun with Paulownia Flowers (1978; posthumous)
Political offices
Preceded by
Shigeru Yoshida
Prime Minister of Japan
Succeeded by
Hitoshi Ashida
Preceded by
Tokutaro Kimura
Minister of Justice

Succeeded by
Yoshio Suzuki
Preceded by
Mitsujiro Ishii
Minister of Commerce and Industry
Succeeded by
Chōzaburō Mizutani
Preceded by
Sadayoshi Hitomatsu
Minister of Communications
Succeeded by
Takeo Miki
Preceded by
Tanzan Ishibashi
Minister of Finance

Succeeded by
Shōtaro Yano

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Historical Figures". National Diet Library. Retrieved 13 January 2013. 
  2. ^ Studies on Japan’s social democratic parties, Volume 2 by George Oakley Totten
  3. ^ Odaka, Konosuke (2002). "The Evolution of Social Policy in Japan" (PDF). World Bank. Retrieved 13 January 2013. 
  4. ^ a b
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^ The economic emergence of modern Japan, Volume 1 by Kôzô Yamamura
  9. ^ Socialist Parties in Postwar Japan, by Allan B. Cole, George O. Totten And Cecil H. Uyehara, with a Contributed Chapter by Ronald P. Dore
  10. ^
  11. ^ "Soviet leader may give up vodka toping". St. Petersburg Times. 26 October 1957. Retrieved 13 January 2013. 
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.