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b. Rise of the Military

4-6 Clean Election Movement

Under the national unity Cabinet of Prime Minister OKADA Keisuke, the Clean Election Committee Act was promulgated in May 1935 (Showa 10), with committees set up in all of Japan prefectures. In June, the Central League for Clean Elections was established, organized by various private sector enlightenment groups. The Clean Election Movement, was a joint public-private movement led by the Home Ministry, aimed at the prevention of corrupt acts, and the spread of the notion of "fair elections." It involved a campaign of enlightenment through the distribution of pamphlets, the holding of lectures, and radio broadcasts, etc., with informal discussion gatherings convened throughout the country. Later, that served as the groundwork for the People's Spiritual General Mobilization Movement and the Yokusan (Imperial Rule Assistance) elections of 1942.

Later that year, on 27 August 1935 (Showa 10), various groups from the women's rights movement organized the Women's League for Clean Elections, with YOSHIOKA Yayoi (representative of the Tokyo Women's League) as chairwoman, and ICHIKAWA Fusae (representative of the Women's Suffrage Committee) as secretary. The group joined the Central League for Clean Elections. With the establishment of the Women's League, Japanese women also started to eagerly participate in the Clean Election Movement. Still, as women did not yet have the vote in Japan, the most they could do to be "good wives and wise mothers". The Movement did not lead to women's suffrage in Japan (which did not come until after the War). Female activists, who had been working to secure rights for women, including that of suffrage, thus ended up being swept up into the more general trend of working for national policy.

Clean Election Women's Federation's Agreement : Patriotic Women's Association, Appealing to the 40 Million Women of Japan for Clean Elections

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