Political decision-making processes, whether in Japan or elsewhere, are complicated and may follow paths that are not necessarily enshrined in legislation. Meiji Japan and, as is argued here, the prewar era in its entirety can be seen as a period of transition if not experimentation. This applies not only specifically to the business and government relationship but also to policy formation. Past practices coexisted with the new established operating procedures, often without precedent to guide. Within this fluid context, the forum of the shingikai played its role. For some this role was but part of the ruse to keep decision making behind closed doors yet, ostensibly at least, it was to be part of the larger national move towards more representative if not also transparent political processes. It is to this intrigue that we shall now turn.