Murayama, Tomiichi (tōˌmē-ēˈchē mŏrˌäyäˈmə) [key], 1924–, Japanese politician. A long-time labor union official and member of the Socialist party, he was originally elected to parliament in 1972. In 1994 he became head of his party and later that year, after the formation of an unlikely coalition of the Socialists and the conservative Liberal Democrats, he became prime minister. The first Socialist in the post in 46 years, he moved his party toward a number of centrist positions. Murayama resigned as prime minister early in 1996.