Right: May Day
demonstrators crowd a street in Tokyo while a
Socialist candidate for representative appeals
for votes from a truck.
Kishi easily won the national election on May 22,
the first since he became chief executive. His
conservative Liberal Democratic Party lost three
seats in Japan's 467-member House of
Representatives, but 12 conservative independents
joined the party after the election. The
Socialist Party, chief opposition to the Kishi
government's policies, gained eight seats but
fell short of pre-election estimates.
Left: In Tokyo on May 22,
Premier Nobusuke Kishi (left) casts a ballot in
the general elections.
Immediately before the election
Communist China formally cut off all trade and
cultural relations with Japan following long and
inconclusive trade negotiations. The Chinese
demanded numerous concessions, including official
status for their trade delegations in Japan and
the right to fly the Communist Chinese flag.
Japan refused for fear of offending the
Nationalist Chinese government on Formosa.
The World Bank loaned Japan $94 million
in credits to help its economy, hard hit by the
Communist Chinese dumping and price cutting of
goods in the southeast Asian market.
U.S. Secretary of Commerce Sinclair Weeks and
Undersecretary Walter Williams greet the
industrialist heading the first official trade
mission from Japan to the United States.
Crown Prince Akihito was betrothed to
Michiko Shoda, the daughter of a wealthy flour
mill owner, in November, thus becoming the first
heir to the Japanese throne to choose a future
empress from outside the nobility. The two met on
a tennis court.
Left: Soon after announcement of her
bethrothal to Crown Prince Akihito, Michiko Shoda
(right) accomapnies her parents on a formal visit
to the Emperor and Empress.
the Year 1958
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