- Hitoshi Ashida
name = Ashida Hitoshi
caption =Prime Minister of Japan
15 November 1887
Fukuchiyama, Kyoto, Japan
death_date =death date and age|1959|6|20|1887|11|15
Prime Minister of Japan
10 March 1948
15 October 1948
Hitoshi Ashida (芦田均 "Ashida Hitoshi",
November 15, 1887ndash June 20, 1959) was a Japanese politicianwho served as the 47th Prime Minister of Japanfrom March 10to 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, Kyotoand 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 governmentof 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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