From the time of the first Diet session the popular parties-principally the Jiyuto and the Kaishinto-proclaimed as their fundamental policies retrenchment of expenditure and reduction of the people’s burdens [of taxation], and they vigorously attacked the hanbatsu Government to this end. Between the first Matsukata Government, however, and the second Ito Government, relations between the hanbatsu and the popular parties entered a period of significant change, both in the nature of policy confrontations and in their attitudes towards ‘transcendental’ versus party cabinets. First of all the Jiyuto began to acquiesce in the ‘positive policies [translated hereafter as ‘expansionist policies’, or ‘expansionism’] being propounded by the hanbatsu Government, of armaments expansion and development of industry. In contrast, the Kokumin Kyokai, which had previously occupied a proGovernment position in support of the Government’s policies of enriching the nation and strengthening the armed forces, swung round to a position of hostility to the Ito Cabinet by introducing the treaty revision problem as a new issue. A little after the Jiyuto had moved to a pro-Government position, the Kaishinto, which now occupied the status of the only remaining popular party, shifted the focus of dispute at the inauguration of the fifth Diet from the budget to foreign policy, and, aligning itself with the pro-Government Kokumin Kyokai, became a wing of the hard-line foreign policy faction.