Hara, Takashi (Kei) [key], 1856–1921, Japanese statesman, prime minister (1918–21). As secretary-general and later president (1914), Hara established the Seiyukai as the first powerful majority party by compromise with the oligarchs (see genro), distribution of patronage posts to cooperative bureaucrats, exploitation of public works legislation, and lavish use of election money. He was the first prime minister to form a party cabinet in accordance with principles of parliamentary government. He encouraged the extension of suffrage but suppressed labor organization. His administration was notable for the expedition to Siberia, the independence movement in Korea, Japanese participation in the Paris Peace Conference, labor unrest, and naval armament. He was assassinated by a fanatic.
See T. Najita, Hara Kei in the Politics of Compromise, 1905–1915 (1967).
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