||This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (January 2009)|
|Prime Minister of Japan|
24 May 1947 – 10 March 1948
|Preceded by||Shigeru Yoshida|
|Succeeded by||Hitoshi Ashida|
28 July 1887|
|Died||30 May 1978(aged 90)|
|Political party||Democratic Socialist Party (1928–1978)|
|Socialist Party (Before 1948)|
|Alma mater||Tokyo Imperial University|
He was born in Tanabe, Wakayama Prefecture, and attended Tokyo Imperial University. Raised in the Christian faith, he was strongly influenced by the Christian Socialism of Abe Isoo. After graduating, he opened a law office in a rented YMCA dormitory, and worked as an attorney.
Katayama joined the Japan Socialist Party and was elected to the House of Representatives, representing Kanagawa Prefecture, in 1930. He became known as a leader of the "social democratic wing" of the party, and joined Abe Isoo and Nishio Suehiro in opposing the expulsion of Saitō Takao.
In 1945, Katayama became secretary general and committee chairman of the party. Following the 1947 elections, in which the Socialist Party came in first, Katayama formed a coalition government with the Democratic Party and the Citizens' Cooperation Party. Despite being a short-lived administration, Katayama's government was responsible for the enactment of a wide range of progressive social reforms, such as the establishment of Japans first Labour Ministry, an Unemployment Compensation Act and an Unemployment Insurance Act, and the overhaul revision of the Civil Code, whose section on the family institution was completely rewritten (to provide, for instance the eldest son a greater inheritance share). The Law for the Elimination of Excessive Economic Concentration (passed in December 1947) provided for the dissolution of any company considered to be monopolistic, In addition, the “law on the expulsion of Zaibatsu-affiliated controls” of January 1948 enforced the resignation of Zaibatsu board members who were related closely to Zaibatsu families, while a measure was taken to ban on holding the concurrent board posts of their affiliated companies.
The influence of left-wing socialists such as Suzuki Mosaburō forced Katayama to resign early in his term. After his resignation, Katayama became a member of the Democratic Socialist Party and advocated the maintenance of the pacifist constitution, election reform, and formation of a global commonwealth.
He bears the distinction of having been the first socialist to serve as Prime Minister of Japan.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Tetsu Katayama|
|Prime Minister of Japan
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