The two socialist parties had close ties to one of

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The two Socialist parties had close ties to one of the labour federations. The parties relied upon labour unions for votes and labour leaders were part of their leadership. The Socialists had a wide ideological range. from radicals demanding revolution to reform moderates. During the 1950s the Communist Party lacked strength but during the 1960s it received more support as its policies became more “pragmatic.” Even when the three parties united, they could not successfully challenge the LDP’s control of the government. However,
they could prevent the LDP from obtaining the 2/3 majority in the Diet needed to revise the constitution and eliminate or rewrite Article IX enabling Japan to become a “full-fledged military power” again. However, due to U.S. pressure, the Self-Defence Forces and the military budget were expanded significantly. Nevertheless, defence spending continued at 1% of GNP until 1987. The opposition was worried that the LDP was moving away from the reforms of the Occupation to implement pre-war measures. Such as recentralizing the police and educational functions and giving the central government more control over local governments. Moreover, they are troubled by the rise of such conservatives who had been purged by the Occupation officials. The left also opposed the government’s pro-U.S. foreign policy and the continuing presence of American bases as well as U.S. nuclear weapons and tests. The struggle between the LDP and the opposition in 1960 over the renewal of the 1952 Security Treaty with the U.S. and the opponents’ view of these issues. The left has engaged in bitter struggles and protests, even boycotting the Diet and physical protests. On the other hand, the LDP used its majority to push thru legislation without regard for parliamentary procedure. For example, in 1960 Prime Minister Kishi rammed the renewal of the Security Treaty with the US and the peace treaty thru the Diet while the opposition was absent because they were out protesting in public against this renewal. Opponents felt that they endangered Japan, possibly causing it to become entangled in American wars; rather than ensuring the security of Japan. For those who experienced Hiroshima, the thought of nuclear war was terrifying. The Japanese public gave strong support to the Socialists’ fight against the renegotiated Security Treaty. Millions of Japanese--“union workers, housewives, students, professors,” and members of various
organizations-- participated in mass demonstrations in the streets. Nevertheless, these protests did not stop the ratification and implementation of the treaty. However, politics became less confrontational as Japan’s economy took off. Meanwhile, Ikeda’s promise to double per capital income was accomplished in only seven years. Despite the student protests during the Vietnam War, the treaty was renewed in 1970 with little conflict.

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