2012 年 121 巻 7 号 p. 1273-1297
This article attempts to clarify how the ward-oriented structure of local politics in Tokyo was transformed after the 1st Sino-Japanese War. The main focus is on the confrontation that occurred between the Seiyukai's 政友会 powerful leader Hoshi Toru 星亨 and members of the city's fifteen ward assemblies, a group which has not drawn sufficient attention as a political actor in the research to date on Hoshi's political leadership as a city council member. After the 1st Sino-Japanese War, the Tokyo city council was confronted by a mounting expectation for infrastructure improvement, but was unable to abandon its austere policy-making style right away. The austerity inclination was shared by members of ward assemblies, who had enjoyed influence over the city council members elected from their respective wards. In 1899, when Hoshi was first elected to the city council, he had already become known as the father of the Seiyukai's bold policy-making style, and proceeded in attempting to attract more residents and ambitious industrialists in Tokyo through large infrastructure projects. However, his success in quickly dominating the city council drove the ward assembly members to organize an opposition movement to protect their hegemony over local politics. Although up until that time assemblymen of different wards seldom came into contact, they rallied together over the question of a streetcar system. Recognizing that controlling the city council was insufficient to enable free implementation of his agenda, Hoshi tried to undermine the political foundation of the ward assemblies by consolidating the administration of the city's ward-based primary education system at the municipal level. The weak position of the ward assemblies brought about by the Municipal Incorporation Act of 1888 became evident by the confrontation that ensued between the city council and ward assemblies over the streetcar question. Efforts to thoroughly institutionalize the relationship between the council and the assemblies enabled Hoshi to gain the upper hand over his opponents, who had been empowered by the latter. The ward assemblymen responded to Hoshi's tactics in two ways: (1) constructing a fundamentally different interpretation about a ward's legal position, and (2) establishment of a permanent city-wide association, resulting in an irreconcilable confrontation between the two parties. It was only Hoshi's assassination that prevented drastic changes from being implemented. However, the city council, now enthusiastic about preparing infrastructure, gained independence from the ward assemblies, who then tried to reestablish their influence by officially appealing to and criticizing the city council as representatives of the residents of their respective wards.