Consistently from the time of the Meiji restoration of 1868, Japanese governments led by the hanbatsu1 pursued policies of economic and military expansion embodied in the famous slogan ‘Enrich the nation and strengthen the armed forces.’ These policies were made possible by virtue of the complete exclusion from the decision-making apparatus of those who bore the principal burden of financing the policies-namely the landlords and the farmers. Such a situation, however, could scarcely survive intact once the Imperial Constitution had been promulgated in 1889 and the Diet [parliament] had begun sitting in 1890. Through the medium of the ‘popular’ parties [parties other than those sponsored by the government], the landlords and farmers acquired, during the first session of the Diet, a firm base from which to force changes in the politics of ‘enriching the nation and strengthening the armed forces’, which had cost them so much sacrifice.