Ashida, Hitoshi, 1887–1959, Japanese politician. He studied law at Tokyo Imperial Univ. and worked in the ministry of foreign affairs before being elected to the Diet in 1932 as a member of the Seiyukai party. After the war, he was elected to the new Diet as a member of the Liberal party, which eventually merged with other parties to become the Liberal Democratic party. Ashida was appointed foreign minister in 1947 under Tetsu Katayama. As prime minister (Mar.–Oct., 1948) he led a coalition government that fell due to a bribery scandal; he later (1958) was cleared of all charges.
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