Friendship Club (交友倶楽部)

The friendship club was established on December 24, 1912 as an Innai (within the House) faction within the House of Peers (Japan) and existed until May 3, 1947 when the Constitution of Japan was promulgated. The date of establishment mentioned above, however, is when the group went through the official procedure to have a legislative bargaining position in the Diet; in fact, the gathering had already existed as a social group by the beginning of the year ("Takashi HARA Diary"). The club took an active part as a faction of Rikken seiyukai.

The club had originally been a social group consisting of either councilors of imperial nomination or councilors in the top tax bracket who support the second Saionji Cabinet of Rikken seiyukai, and then the club was officially launched as a negotiating body within the House on December 24, 1912 when they went through the official procedure. The initial secretaries of the club consisted of 25 members in total, including three from imperial nomination (Yoshito OKUDA, Keijiro OKANO, Kanemichi ANRAKU), three from the top tax bracket (Tomoemon SATO, Shobee MORITA, Kihee YAMASHITA), and such as the following: Binichi ISHIWATARI, Teiichi SUGITA, Rentaro MIZUNO, Soroku EBARA, Koki MATSUOKA, Yoshifumi MUROTA, Yasutake MATSUOKA, Yoshiaya MUROTA. As Rikken seiyukai promoted its power, the number of the club members increased to constantly exceed 30, reaching 47 at its peak. Even if it was the Cabinet not consisted of any polical party, it happened often that the members of Kizokuin (the House of Peers) who belonged to the friendship club entered the Cabinet in return when Rikken seiyukai was supporting the Cabinet from outside.

[Original Japanese]