Democratic Socialist Party (Japan)

The Democratic Socialist Party (originally 民主社会党, Minshu Shakai-tō, later simply 民社党 Minsha-tō) was a social-democratic[2] political party in Japan. It was anti-communist and pro-American alliance, and supported a reformist/revisionist social democracy as opposed to the JSP's orthodox Marxism[1]

Democratic Socialist Party
民主社会党 (1960–1969)
民社党 (after 1969)

民主社会党, Minshu Shakai-tō
Dissolved10 December 1994
Split fromJapanese Socialist Party
Merged intoNew Frontier Party
Youth wingMinsha Youth
Democratic socialism
After 1969:
Social democracy
Political positionCentre-left
International affiliationSocialist International


The Democratic Socialist Party (DSP) was established in 1960 by a breakaway group (led by Suehiro Nishio) of the Japan Socialist Party.[2] It was made up of many members of the former Rightist Socialist Party of Japan, a moderate democratic socialist faction that existed between 1948 and 1955.

Declassified U.S. government documents revealed that CIA funding led to the founding of this breakaway party.[3] It was aimed at moderating and subverting the political opposition of the ruling conservative Liberal Democratic Party, which was the main CIA funded party.[4][5]

The DSP advocated Democratic socialism and was a member of the Socialist International.[6]

The DSP supported the construction of a welfare state, opposed totalitarianism, and strongly backed the Japan-US alliance. This made the pro-US and anti-communist alliance within the LDP continued to have majority in both Houses. It derived much of its financial and organisational support from the Domei private-sector labour confederation.

The DSP was dissolved in 1994 to join the New Frontier Party. In 1996, the Japan Socialist Party was transformed into the Social Democratic Party. Two years later, in 1998, the New Frontier Party dissolved and most former DSP members eventually joined the Democratic Party of Japan.[2] Despite the dissolution of the DSP in 1994, its youth organisation (Minsha Youth) survived until 2003 and was a member of the International Union of Socialist Youth (IUSY). After Minsha Youth was dissolved, some of its former members and independent social democrats formed a new youth organisation, Young Socialists, which retained full membership in IUSY; however, it was finally dissolved on 8 March 2008 without any successor organisation and abandoned its IUSY membership.

International Comparison

Internationally, the Democratic Socialist Party may be compared to Democratic Socialists '70, another centre right wing, anti communist split from a social democratic party


  1. 日本大百科全書(ニッポニカ)
  2. Miranda Schreurs (2014). "Japan". In Jeffrey Kopstein; Mark Lichbach; Stephen E. Hanson (eds.). Comparative Politics: Interests, Identities, and Institutions in a Changing Global Order. Cambridge University Press. p. 192. ISBN 978-1-139-99138-4.
  3. "U.S. admits CIA gave LDP money in 1950s, 1960s". Japan Times. Kyodo News. 2006-07-20. Retrieved 2018-08-24.
  4. Hounshell, Blake (2007-07-30). "U.S. admits CIA gave LDP money in 1950s, 1960s". Foreign Policy. Retrieved 2018-08-24.
  5. Weiner, Tim (1994-10-09). "C.I.A. Spent Millions to Support Japanese Right in 50's and 60's". New York Times. Retrieved 2007-12-29.
  6. James C. Docherty; Peter Lamb (2006). Historical Dictionary of Socialism. Scarecrow Press. p. 187. ISBN 978-0-8108-6477-1. Retrieved 28 January 2013.
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