1956 Japanese House of Councillors election

House of Councillors elections were held in Japan on July 8, 1956[1] electing half the seats in the House plus two vacant seats in the other half. The Liberal Democratic Party won the most seats, but failed to win a majority. It was the first national election under the 1955 System, approximately a two party system of Ichirō Hatoyama's Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) that was created in the "conservative merger" of 1955 and Suzuki Mosaburō's reunified Japan Socialist Party (JSP). The later dominant LDP failed to win a majority.

1956 Japanese House of Councillors election

July 8, 1956

125 (of the 250) seats in the House of Councillors
126 seats needed for a majority
  First party Second party
Leader Nobusuke Kishi Mosaburō Suzuki
Party Liberal Democratic Socialist
Seats after 122 80
Seat change 12 14
Popular vote 11,356,874 8,549,940
Percentage 36.7% 29.9%
Swing N/A N/A

  Third party Fourth party
Leader Sanzō Nosaka
Party Ryokufūkai Communist
Seats after 31 2
Seat change 3 2
Popular vote 2,877,102 599,254
Percentage 10.1% 2.1%
Swing 2.1% 1.0%

President of the House of Councillors before election

Yūzō Shigemune
Liberal Democratic

President of the House of Councillors-designate

Yutaka Terao
Liberal Democratic

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A key campaign issue was Prime Minister Ichirō Hatoyama's plan to revise Article 9 of the constitution – any change of the constitution requires a two-thirds majority in both chambers of the Diet. The left parties aimed to win at least a third of seats to prevent any constitutional change. Another issue was the government's plan to replace the elected prefectural boards of education with appointed ones, a plan fiercely opposed by the left: In June 1956, on the LDP's request the police intervened in the "deliberations" in the Diet when Socialist Councillors resorted to violence.


Two by-elections for the class of Councillors elected in 1953 were held simultaneously: The candidates with the 51st and 52nd highest vote shares in the national vote (one Socialist and one Liberal Democrat) were elected for three-year terms.

Party Constituency National Total
Votes % Seats Votes % Seats
Liberal Democratic Party14,353,96048.44211,356,87439.7196161122
Japan Socialist Party11,156,06037.6288,549,94029.921493180
Japanese Communist Party1,149,0093.91599,2542.11202
Labourers and Farmers Party120,4140.40181,5240.60000
Other parties115,8620.40607,8322.111[2]01
Invalid/blank votes-------
Source: Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications

See also


  1. Table 13: Persons Elected and Votes Polled by Political Parties - Ordinary Elections for the House of Councillors (1947–2004) Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications
  2. only elected candidate: Takenaka Tsuneo for the Japan Dentists' Federation (Nihon shika ishi renmei), later joined LDP
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