The Aikokukoto Party (愛国公党)
The Aikokukoto Party was the first political organization associated under the Jiyu Minken Undo (Movement for Liberty and People's Right).
Political parties in the middle Meiji period
The Aikokukoto (in 1874)
Taisuke ITAGAKI, who had lost in the political upheaval in Seikanron in 1873 and retired from the governmental position, and his comrades gathered at the residence of Taneomi SOEJIMA in Ginza, Kyobashi Ward, Tokyo and formed a political party on January 12, 1874. They asserted that the first goal of their political challenges at that time were to protect basic human rights based on the theory of Tenpujinken-ron (the theory of the human rights given by the heaven) and to require the government to establish the congress of representatives elected by the commoners. On January 17, Itagaki and Soejima submitted "the political statement for democratic representation" to the government. Besides Itagaki and Soejima, Shojiro GOTO, Shinpei ETO, Shinobu KOMURO, Kosei YURI, Kenzaburo OKAMOTO and Shigeru FURUSAWA signed the statement. The Aikokukoto can be considered one of the early political associations in Japan. Yet given the fact that this party started its political activities before the National Diet was even formed, it cannot be denied that the party was too much ahead of its time. Later, as Taisuke ITAGAKI and Kenkichi KATAOKA went home and Eto participated in Saga War, the party stopped its activities and died out.
The Aikokukoto Party (in 1890)
A political party established on May 5, 1890; it is mainly comprised of the members of Tosa school in the former Liberal Party. In response to the situation after the split of Great Merger Movement, Taisuke ITAGAKI and others tried to invite the members of the former Liberal Party to the Aikokukoto Party. This movement triggered the establishment of the Aikokukoto Party. After the establishment of the party, negotiations began to merge with the Liberal Party and the Daido Club Party, and on May 14 the three parties passed a resolution to form Kokin Club Party. On August 4 the Aikokukoto Party was dissolved. And on September 15, the Rikken Jiyu-to (the Constitutional Liberal Party) was formed by uniting the four parties including the Kyushu Doshikai (the Kyushu Comrades Party).