Hitoshi Ashida


Hitoshi Ashida

Infobox Politician
name = Ashida Hitoshi


width =150px
height =300px
caption =Prime Minister of Japan
birth_date = 15 November 1887
birth_place =Fukuchiyama, Kyoto, Japan
residence =
death_date =death date and age|1959|6|20|1887|11|15
death_place =
office =47th Prime Minister of Japan
salary =
term_start = 10 March 1948
term_end = 15 October 1948
predecessor =Tetsu Katayama
successor =Shigeru Yoshida

Hitoshi Ashida (芦田均 "Ashida Hitoshi", November 15, 1887ndash June 20, 1959) was a Japanese politician who served as the 47th Prime Minister of Japan from March 10 to October 15, 1948. He was a prominent figure in the immediate postwar political landscape, but was forced to resign his leadership responsibilities after a corruption scandal targeting two of his cabinet ministers.

Early political life

Ashida was born in Fukuchiyama, Kyoto and studied French civil law at Tokyo Imperial University. After graduation, he worked in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for twenty years.

In 1932, Ashida ran his first successful campaign for a seat in the House of Representatives as a member of the Seiyukai Party. He sided with Ichirō Hatoyama's "orthodox" wing following the Seiyukai's split in 1939.

After the war, Ashida won a seat in the new Diet as a member of the Liberal Party, which soon merged with Kijuro Shidehara's Progressive Party to form the Japan Democratic Party. Ashida was elected president of the new party, and became Minister of Foreign Affairs in 1947 under Socialist prime minister Tetsu Katayama.

Prime Minister and later life

Ashida became prime minister in 1948, leading a coalition government of Democratic and Socialist members. His tenure ended just seven months after it began. Two of his cabinet ministers were accused of corruption in the Showa Electric scandal, which forced the cabinet to resign.

Ten years later, in 1958, Ashida was cleared of all charges in relation to the incident. He died a year later at the age of seventy-one.


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