List of political parties in Japan

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This article lists political parties in Japan.

Major parties

Party Diet Representation Party Leader Comments
Reps. Counc.
Liberal Democratic Party (LDP)
Jiyū Minshu-tō 自由民主党,
or Jimin-tō 自民党
Shinzō Abe PM Reps. Conservatism and Japanese nationalism. The LDP is Japan's largest political party. It is a conservative party and is made up of various conservative, nationalist and centrist factions. Before 2009, the LDP had been in power almost continuously since 1955, when it was formed as a merger of early postwar Japan's two conservative parties, the Liberal Party of Japan, and the Japan Democratic Party.
Democratic Party (DP)
Minshin-tō 民進党
("Democratic Progressive Party")
Renhō Coun. The Democratic Party is Japan's second largest political party. It was formed on 27 March 2016 from the merger of the Democratic Party of Japan, Japan Innovation Party and Vision of Reform. The DP is the largest opposition party and has a shadow cabinet.
Komeito (KM)
Kōmeitō 公明党
("Clean Government", "Fairness" or "Justice Party")
Natsuo Yamaguchi Coun. The Komeito Party was formerly known as the Clean Government Political Assembly, Komeito (1964-1998) and New Komeito. At its foundation, the party was center-left, but it has drifted rightwards as a participant in the LDP's governing coalitions. It is supported by the Buddhist new religious movement Sōka Gakkai. It was Japan's third largest party in the House of Representatives of Japan until the formation of People's Life First in 2012. The party dropped the word "New" from its English title in September 2014.
Communist Party (JCP)
Nihon Kyōsan-tō 日本共産党
Kazuo Shii Reps. The Japanese Communist Party is Japan's oldest party. It was formed in 1922 as an underground organization in the Empire of Japan, but was legalized after World War II during the Occupation. It is under the surveillance of the Public Security Intelligence Agency.[1]
Initiatives from Osaka (IfO)
Ōsaka Ishin no Kai おおさか維新の会
Ichirō Matsui
Gov. of Osaka Pref.
Economic liberalism, Localism, Limited government, and administrative reform; formed by Osaka mayor Tōru Hashimoto from the split of Japan Innovation Party. It is considered more neoliberal than the Liberal Democratic Party. The sister party of the regional Osaka Restoration Association.

Other parties currently represented in the national Diet

Party Diet Representation Party Leader(s) Comments
Reps. Counc.
Liberal Party
Jiyū-tō 自由党
Ichirō Ozawa Reps. Life Party was founded by Ichirō Ozawa and 14 other diet members who were in the Tomorrow Party of Japan after a leadership dispute between Ozawa and Yukiko Kada.
Social Democratic Party (SDP)
Shakai Minshu-tō 社会民主党
Tadatomo Yoshida Coun. SDP is a social-democratic party. It is a successor of the Japan Socialist Party, which had been Japan's largest opposition party in the 1955 System It was in the ruling coalition (1993-1996) and (2009-2010). It had a prime minister named Tomiichi Murayama from 1994 to 1996.
The Assembly to Energize Japan
Nippon-wo-genkini-suru Kai 日本を元気にする会
Kota Matsuda Founded in January 2015 by members who were in the former Your Party.
Party for Japanese Kokoro (PFG)
Nihon no Kokoro wo Taisetsu ni Suru Tou 日本のこころを大切にする党
("Party that cares for Japan's heart")
Kyōko Nakayama Coun. Japanese nationalism, Neoconservatism
New Renaissance Party (NRP)
Shintō Kaikaku 新党改革
("New Reform Party")
Hiroyuki Arai Coun. Conservatism, Neoliberalism
Okinawa Socialist Masses Party (OSMP)
Okinawa Shakai Taishūtō 沖縄社会大衆党
Keiko Itokazu Coun. Okinawa regionalism, Localism, Social democracy

Legal status as political party (seitō) is tied to having five members in the Diet or at least two percent nationally of either proportional or local vote in the last Representatives or one of the last two Councillors elections. Political parties receive public party funding (¥ 250 per citizen, about ¥ 32 bill. in total per fiscal year, distributed according to recent national elections results – last HR general and last two HC regular elections – and Diet strength on January 1), are allowed to concurrently nominate candidates for the House of Representatives in an electoral district and on a proportional list, may take political donations from legal persons, i.e. corporations, and other benefits such as air time on public broadcaster NHK.[2]

House of Representatives Election in 2014
House of Councilors Election in 2013

Parties currently represented in prefectural and municipal assemblies (incomplete)

Note: In legal terms, all of the parties below are "political organizations" (seiji dantai), not "political parties" (seitō, see above).

Prefectural and local parties

Other minor parties

Existing national parties represented in the Diet in the past

Current political parties that used to be in the Diet but are not currently represented:

Other parties

Japan has other minor parties not represented in Parliament (which have never been represented before), some are new, others with communist and socialist ideologies, as well as a few nationalist, reformist, and far right-wing parties. Some of them include:

Defunct parties

Former major parties



Pre- and early constitutional era

Empire of Japan until 1940

Socialist and labour movement

In 1940, all remaining political parties with the exception of the Tōhōkai became part of the Imperial Rule Assistance Association or were banned.

Postwar Japan

Note: Postwar parties often give themselves "English" names which sometimes differ significantly from translations of their Japanese names.

LDP precursor and breakaway parties
JSP breakaway parties
Other NFP and DPJ precursor and breakaway parties
Political parties in U.S. Okinawa

See also


  1. "衆議院議員鈴木貴子君提出日本共産党と「破壊活動防止法」に関する質問に対する答弁書" [Response to the question submitted by House of Representatives member Takako Suzuki regarding the relationship between the Japanese Communist Party and the "Subversive Activities Prevention Law"] (in Japanese). House of Representatives. 22 March 2016. Retrieved 16 September 2016.
  2. Laws regulating political parties include the 公職選挙法 (Public Offices Election Act), the 政治資金規正法 (Political Funds Control Act) and the 政党助成法 (Political Parties Subsidies Act). (Note: Translations have no legal effect and are by definition "unofficial".) Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications: General information and published reports about political party funding (In Japanese)
  3. Ainu Party
  4. Archived April 27, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.
  5. Archived July 9, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.
  6. The Democratic Party of Japan is widely described as centrist:
  7. Hunter, p.4
  8. Asahi Shimbun, November 19, 2012: 新党「反TPP」結成 代表に山田氏、亀井氏は幹事長 (retrieved in November 2012)
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