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  General and Old World HistoryAsiaJapanHistory
Japan in 1958

May Day demonstratorsRight: May Day demonstrators crowd a street in Tokyo while a Socialist candidate for representative appeals for votes from a truck.

Premier Nobusuke Kishi votingPremier Nobusuke 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.

Japanese trade missionThe 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.

Right: 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.

Michiko Shoda with her parentsCrown 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.

In the Year 1958

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This page was last updated on June 23, 2016.

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