Ashida Hitoshi (Japanese芦 田 均; * November 15, 1887 in Fukuchiyama, Kyoto Prefecture, † June 20 1959 in the prefecture of Tokyo ) was a Japanese politician of bourgeois and 1948 Prime Minister of Japan.
Ashida, after graduating at the Law Faculty of Tokyo Imperial University in 1912 an official in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He has worked among others in the Embassies in Russia, France, Turkey and Belgium. In 1932, he left the ministry and moved into politics.
In the 1932 election Shūgiin Ashida, was elected for the party Rikken Seiyūkai into Shūgiin, the lower house, where he then served until his death. From 1933 to 1939 he was also President of the Japan Times and Mail, an English-language newspaper in Tokyo.
After the Second World War Ashida first belonged to the Liberal Party of Japan, for which he held until 1946, the Cabinet Shidehara belonged as Minister of Social Affairs in 1945. He was the 1946 Shūgiin Committee ago, who worked on the drafting of a new constitution on the basis of the design of Douglas MacArthur and the GHQ. In 1947 he participated along with members of the " Progress Party of Japan " (Nihon Shimpotō ) and parts of the Liberals in the founding of the Democratic Party and was chairman of the party. In the coalition government of Tetsu Katayama under the leadership of the Socialist Party of Japan ( SPJ ), he was deputy prime minister. Following the resignation of the Katayama Shūgiin Ashida elected on 21 February 1948 to the successor.
As prime minister, he took over at the same time the State Department. Against his coalition government with SPJ and Kokumin - Kyodo -tō but 1948 corruption charges were raised as early as April. The chemical company Showa Denko had received government loans and this allegedly paid bribes to senior officials and ministers. The allegations compacted to the Parliament initiated in June 1948 examinations and finally Minister of State Nishio Suehiro ( SPJ ) was arrested on bribery charges. On October 5, resigned Ashida and his cabinet.
In December 1948 Ashida was even arrested for Showa Denko scandal, but later acquitted of the charges. He was later to Kaishintō, the Democratic Party of Japan and eventually to the Liberal Democratic Party.
Ashida died at the age of 71 years to cancer.