Alternate History

Japanese National Congress elections, 1918−19 (Cherry, Plum, and Chrysanthemum)

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The National Congress of Japan election of 1918 was the first election to elect the National Congress of Japan. It was held from December 1918 to January 1919. The elections were called by the Nationalist-dominated Council of National Salvation in Kyoto to form the National Congress, a rival parliament for the Imperial Diet, that in turn will elect the first revolutionary government of Japan.

The delegates to the National Congress were elected by the regional-level people's committees that had been formed earlier in 1918. The elections were intended to be held throughout Japan with a total of 225 elected delegates. However, only 160 delegates were elected by February 1919. Out of the 105 elected delegates, the Nationalist Party won 123 seats. Various left-wing groups won only 31 seats; twenty of them belong to the Marxists. Three delegates affiliated with Katsura Taro's Constitutional Party were also elected each in Greater Tokyo, Chūbu and Kansai regions.

Before the elections could be held in the remaining regions, the Council of National Salvation decided to rush the convocation of National Congress prior to the traditional National Foundation Day on February 16, 1919. The 65 delegates from Karafuto, Ezo, Tōhoku, Okinawa and Takasago were then appointed by the Council of National Salvation, mainly from the Nationalist Party (with one exception of Chiang Wei-shui, a Socialist-affiliated delegate from Taihoku). In addition of the intended 225 elected delegates, the Council also invited 177 delegates from various interest groups, such religious communities, functional groups, women organizations, cooperative movements, revolutionary soldiers and ethnic minorities.

Japanese parliamentary seat compositions, 1919

Seat compositions of the National Congress of Japan, 1919-1922

In total, there were 402 delegates for the National Congress of Japan between 1919 and 1922. The Japanese Nationalist Party controlled the National Congress with 292 seats in total, while the various left-wing groups gained 58 seats (39 Marxists, 17 Christian Socialists and 2 Syndicalists). Remaining seats belong to the minor parties and non-affiliated delegates.

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