The Beginning of Our History
In 1927 (Showa Era 2), a number of politicians advocating the diet-centered constitutionalism has formed the Constitutional Democratic Party (Rikken Minseito, its first President was Osachi Hamaguchi succeeded by Reijiro Wakatsuki) focusing on constitution protection and pacifism. In 1933 (Showa Era 8), the Party’s director-general Chiiji Machida, who would soon succeed Reijiro Wakatsuki as President, together with the executives Tadao Oasa and Kenzo Matsumura, established “The Political Affairs Research Committee”, and in the following year transferred the Committee’s assets to Sakurada-kai. This marked the beginning of Sakurada-kai, General Incorporated Association.
Through the Time of War
Militarism soared at the heart of the country as Japan ushered into the war. Constitutional Democratic Party continued to stand for the protection of monarchy-based constitutional government until it dissolved itself in August of 1940 (Showa Era 15), deactivating its Political Affairs Research Committee and Sakurada-kai.
Through WWII and the time of confusion after the war, Kenzo Matsumura and other former members of the Party sought to make use of Sakurada-kai’s property for the development of Japan’s politics. In 1963 (Showa Era 38), Matsumura was appointed as the Association’s Chairman, and in 1967 (Showa Era 42) “Tokyo Sakurada Building” was constructed, and its earnings have been dedicated to political developments ever since. The association has donated as many as 30,000 books originated from the Political Affairs Research Committee to National Diet Library, to be kept as Sakudara-Bunko (Sakurada-Library).
The construction of Tokyo Sakurada Building required a substantial amount of debt, costing Sakurada-kai many years before it could start to fulfill its original purpose. But in 1982 (Showa Era 57) the association has successfully launched the grant activities for political researches conducted by notable private universities, and “Sakurada-kai Award” grant activities for exceptional political researches in the following year. Since then, the association’s various grant activities have been conducted to this date.
Due to the recent urban renewal in the area, Tokyo Sakurada Building was dismantled. Since 2017 (Heisei Era 29), with the acquisition of Toranomon NS Building, we have been mainly conducting 5 projects as follows:
- Political Research Grants
- Sakurada-kai Award
- Publishing Grants
- Grants for Academic Society Annual Newsletters
- Grants for “The Association for Promoting Fair Elections”
The Foundation donated around 30,000 books from the Political Affairs Research Committee to the National Diet Library where it is kept as Sakudara-Bunko (Sakurada-Library).
Due to the urban renewal , Tokyo Sakurada Building was demolished in 2017 (Heisei 29) and the Foundation acquired a stake in the Toranomon NS Building nearby to continue funding the activities.
※In April 2013 (Heisei Era 25), Sakurada-kai was given General Incorporated Association status by the Cabinet Office.