Draft of the "Public Party of Patriots Pledge"
In January 1874, the first political party in Japan, Aikoku Kōtō (Public Party of Patriots), was established by Itagaki Taisuke, Gotō Shōjirō, Soejima Taneoi, and Etō Shinpei (also seen as Eto Shimpei), a year after they had gone into opposition following the political upheaval in 1873, when the governing alliance of senior officials split over a proposed military expedition against Korea. Gotō and Itagaki were among the leaders of the losing faction, most of whom had favored the expedition. They were also joined by Furusawa Shigeru, who had returned from studying in England. The party was formed because its founders wanted to create a political organization on the occasion of their petition for the establishment of a popularly elected assembly. The “Public Party of Patriots Pledge,” drafted by Etō Shinpei, was effectively a mission statement for Aikoku Kōtō. It proclaimed the virtues of nativism, loyalty, and patriotism. There are indications of the text having been edited. Aikoku Kōtō was dissolved several months later.
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Last updated: April 23, 2015