Jichi to (Autonomy Party) (自治党)

Jichi To was the idea of new political party formed by local renown men such as mayors of towns and villages promoted by Kaoru INOUE from 1888 to 1889 but failed in the end.

Inoue, who resigned from his post as Japanese Minister of Foreign Affairs took responsibility for the failure of a treaty revision at the late stage of the first Ito cabinet by conceiving a plan to form a conservative party opposing minto (general term of the political parties such as Liberal Party and Progressive Party that conflicted with the domain government when the Imperial Diet was inaugurated) by organizing men with high reputation such as mayors, who were the main constituent to manage local autonomies. INOUE sent a letter at the end of July in 1888, to Kiyotaka KURODA, who asked him to join the cabinet as the Minister of Agriculture and Commerce, and proposed therein that it would be impossible to perpetuate the political rule by the Satsuma-Choshu domain clique.
He also introduced the concept of collecting the wealthy men above the middle class to establish a new political party having the central power in local districts, make them have seasoned political experience before dispatching to central political district to develop moderate conservative power to prevent the increase of school of the Freedom and People's Rights Movement and nationalist as means of providing the politicians of the next generation who will continue the policy of enhancing the wealth and military strength of a country sought by the Meiji government
Inoue also sent the same letter to Hirobumi ITO to seek agreement.

Inoue started preparing "Jichisei Kenkyu Kai" (a study group for autonomy) with Munemitsu MUTSU and Shuzo AOKI on October 15, 1888 after Inoue joined the cabinet, and it was virtually a committee for a new political party with a party newspaper called "Jichi Shinpo" (New Autonomy News). However, the movement cooled down due to "the doctrine of superiority" of Kuroda, the opposition of Aritomo YAMAGATA, as well as the conflict between Inoue and Kuroda regarding the treaty revision, and the plan was abolished in the summer of 1889 while "Jichisei Shinpo" discontinued publication in 1890.

[Original Japanese]