Published 30th November, 2012
The New Kōmeitō or NKP or Shin Kōmeitō was originally founded as Kōmeitō in 1955 by members of the Buddhist organisation Soki Gakkai. You may also find the party described as the Justice Party. The party describes itself as Centre-right and founds its beliefs in Buddhism, Centrism, Conservatism and Social Conservatism. Originally the party was more centre-left but in the 1970s it loosened its links with the Soki Gakkai and moved more centre-right. In 1998 the party was re-formed as the New Kōmeitō following a merger of Kōmeitō and the New Peace Party.
The Kōmeitō had been successful in securing between 40 and 50 seats for most of the period leading up to 1998. The new party did less well, dropping to 31 seats in the 2000 general election, 34 seats in 2003 and then 31 seats in 2005.
In 2007 the party decided to support the Liberal Democratic Party of Japan (LDP) in government and remained in coalition until the defeat of the LDP in 2009. The NKP suffered as badly as the LDP, dropping ten seats to go down to 21 seats in the lower House of Representatives. In the upper House of Councillors they have 19 of the 242 seats. They are currently in opposition.