The notions “coalition” and “association” are essential to interpreting the intermediary entities that existed between the state and individual citizens after the French Revolution. Even though the relationship between those two notions has been considered obvious in most of the research done to date, “coalition” and “association” were mentioned separately by the French Criminal Code of 1810; and there is still research that refers to one notion only. One of the reasons why the relationship has been considered obvious can be found within the very source used to analyze the amendment to Articles 414-416 of the Criminal Code, which had prohibited “coalition” before this amendment The notion of “association” was mentioned frequently in the bill prepared by a commission of the Corps législatif. To clarify the status of the bill's interpretation of intermediary entities in the contemporary discourse, the author of the present article conducted an exhaustive examination of all the sources relevant to the amendment, and reached the following findings.
In the course of the discussion of the amendment, there were two positions: One promoting the family-like association and denying the freedom of coalition, the calling for both the freedoms of coalition and of association within the context of the right to work. The bill prepared by the commission was not completely in accord with either of these two position, rather taking an eclectic stance, assuming that association had its collective interest, while coalition was an aggregation of individual interests, thus considering the freedom of association as an extension of the freedom of coalition. The Corps législatif’s unique interpretation of the intermediary entities went counter to contemporary thinking, and while this strategy of the Corps was effective in successfully establishing the freedom of coalition, the legal status of the freedom of association remained undefined. The interpretation of the intermediary entities posed in the process of the amendment to Articles 414-416, thus, will always be indicated by the social policies of the early Third Republic.
The purpose of the present article is to examine the process in which the Rikken Kokumin Party was formed in Okayama Prefecture, in order to clarify the political historical significance of attempts by that party to expand its influence via a platform calling for the reduction of fiscal burdens on the private sector to free up resources for economic development (minryoku kyuyo 民力休養).
The author begins in November of 1908, during which the Prefecture’s two political factions---one led by Sakamoto Kinya, the other by Inukai Tsuyoshi---decided to put aside their differences and form the local Kakumeikai Party. This reorganization of Okayama politics, which was accompanied by changes occurring in the Prefecture’s industrial structure negatively impacted the theretofore solid base secured by Inukai, who just that Spring had launched a campaign calling for “a buildup of economic armaments” in which the central government would cut taxes to the benefit of key Prefectural industries, thus coming into line with the Sakamoto Faction’s ongoing tax reduction movement and re-ensuring support for Inukai among Okayama’s landlords and entrepreneurs. Then beginning in 1909, the Inukai and Sakamoto Factions came to terms at the national level, which led to the formation of the Rikken Kokumin Party. What this meant for Okayama was the disbanding of the Kakumeikai in May and the incorporation of its members into the Okayama branch of the Rikken Kokumin Party.
From the above analysis of the transformation of the Kakumeikai into the Rikken Komin Party the author draws attention to the way in which the political demands of such groups as landlords and commercial-industrial interests were incorporated into the Party, through focusing on the conflict that arose between Inukai and Sakamoto, concluding that in locales where agricultural productivity was high and both newly rising and traditional industries were growing in particular in the Pacific Ocean and Seto Inland Sea coastal areas, the campaign of the rival Seiyukai Party to stimulate profit earnings failed to gain traction in the midst of the excitement over fiscal tax cuts and reductions In the author’s opinion, the post-Russo-Japanese War “minryoku kyuyo”fiscal measures were not only welcomed in Japan’s urban areas, as indicated in the research to date, but also raised excitement to a certain extent in the more economically developing regions of agrarian society, such as Okayama, and thus tapped into the political energy being generated by the Taisho democracy movement.