Baron Wakatsuki Reijirō was a Japanese politician and the 25th and 28th Prime Minister of Japan. Wakatsuki was born in Izumo Province, his father, a samurai who served the local Matsudaira daimyō had the family name of Okamura. Wakatsuki was adopted after marriage into the family of his wife, since that family had no male heir, only assumed the Wakatsuki name at that time, he studied law. After graduation, Wakatsuki worked in the Ministry of Finance as tax bureau director and as vice-minister. In 1911 he was appointed to the House of Peers, he served as Minister of Finance under the 3rd Katsura administration and 2nd Ōkuma administration in the early 1910s and became a leading member of the Rikken Dōshikai political party, its successor the Kenseikai, in 1914. In June 1924, Wakatsuki was named Home Minister in the cabinet of Prime Minister Katō Takaaki, worked to enact the Universal Manhood Suffrage Law and the Peace Preservation Law in 1925. On 30 January 1926, on Katō's unexpected death in office, Wakatsuki took over as Prime Minister of Japan.
His first term lasted to 20 April 1927 when he was forced to resign during the Shōwa financial crisis. Wakatsuki was awarded the Order of the Paulownia Flowers on November 10, 1928. After serving as chief delegate plenipotentiary to the London Naval Conference, Wakatsuki pushed for speedy ratification of the disarmament treaty, thus earning the wrath of the Japanese military and various ultranationalist groups. After Prime Minister Hamaguchi was forced out of office by the severe injuries incurred in an assassination attempt, Wakatsuki assumed the leadership of the Rikken Minseitō, the successor to the Kenseikai, he was elevated to the rank of baron in the kazoku peerage system in April 1931. Wakatsuki once again became Prime Minister from 14 April 1931 to 13 December 1931. During Wakatsuki's second term, he failed to control the Imperial Japanese Army, he was unable either to prevent the Manchurian Incident from occurring, or to rein in the Army from further escalation of hostilities in China afterwards.
After his retirement as Prime Minister, Wakatsuki became president of the Rikken Minseitō in July 1934. Despite the growing militarism in society, he continued to opposed the Second Sino-Japanese War and was adamantly opposed to extending the war to include the United States and other western powers. After the declaration of hostilities in World War II, he publicly stated the war should end as as possible. In May 1945, on hearing of the collapse of Nazi Germany, he emerged from retirement to urge Prime Minister Kantarō Suzuki to open negotiations with the United States as soon as possible. In August, he participated in the government panel recommending unconditional acceptance of the Potsdam Declaration. After the surrender of Japan, Wakatsuki was subpeonaed by the Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers in June 1946 as a prosecution witness at The International Military Tribunal for the Far East. Wakatsuki died of Angina pectoris at his summer home in Itō, Shizuoka on November 20, 1949, his grave is at the Somei Cemetery in downtown Tokyo.
From the corresponding article in the Japanese Wikipedia Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun with Paulownia Flowers Baron History of Japan Bix, Herbert P.. Hirohito and the Making of Modern Japan. New York: HarperCollins. ISBN 978-0-06-019314-0; the Dark Valley: A Panorama of the 1930s. Vintage. ISBN 0-375-70808-1 Jansen, Marius B.. The Making of Modern Japan. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. ISBN 9780674003347; the Rising Sun: The Decline and Fall of the Japanese Empire, 1936–1945. Modern Library. ISBN 0-8129-6858-1
Nakahashi Tokugorō was a businessman and cabinet minister in Taishō and early Shōwa period Japan. After serving as president of Osaka Shōsen Shipping Company, he entered politics and served as a cabinet minister. Nakahashi was the son of a samurai in the service of the Maeda clan of Kaga Domain. After the Meiji Restoration, he studied at the law school of Tokyo Imperial University, specializing in his post-graduate curriculum in commercial law, in 1886, soon after graduation, worked in Yokohama as a trial lawyer and judge in commercial cases. However, in 1887, he was scouted as a councilor for the Ministry of Agriculture and Commerce, asked to serve as a legal councilor for the lower house of the Diet of Japan in 1889. In this capacity, he travelled to the United States and to Korea, serving subsequently in the secretariat of the House of Representatives, councilor to the Ministry of Communications, Director of the Audit Board of the Ministry of Communications, Director of the Railway Bureau.
In 1898, Nakahashi was asked by his father-in-law, Takana Ichibe, to assume the post of president of Osaka Shōsen Shipping Company. He was active in expanding the firms operations in Taiwan, which had just become part of the Japanese Empire following the First Sino-Japanese War, he served on the board of directors of Chisso, one of the minor zaibatsu, it was during his tenure that Chisso began construction of a plant in Minamata, Kumamoto. Nakahashi’s political career began in 1901, when he was elected to the Osaka City Assembly, served as its chairman. In the 1902 General Election, Nakahashi was elected to the House of Representatives of Japan from the Osaka general constituency and was re-elected five consecutive times, he joined the Rikken Seiyūkai in 1914. In 1918, he changed his constituency to the Kanazawa Prefectural general constituency. Nakahashi was appointed to the cabinet of the Hara Takashi administration as Education Minister in 1918. While Education Minister, Nakahashi sought to expand the higher education system in Japan, including the creation of five more medical schools, 29 schools of pharmacy, creating additional imperial universities.
Following Hara’s assassination in 1921, Nakahashi continued as Education Minister in the cabinet of Takahashi Korekiyo. In 1924, together with Tokonami Takejirō, he joined the new Seiyu Hontō, helping bring down the Takahashi administration, but returned to the Rikken Seiyukai in 1925. In 1927, under the cabinet of Tanaka Giichi, Nakahashi served as Minister of Industry. On 23 May 1927, he established a Commerce and Industry Deliberation Council to examine issues with the Japanese economy, to determine steps to take to improve the situation, compile economic statistics and to encourage economic rationalization through the mergers of companies. In 1931, Nakahashi returned to the cabinet once more, as Home Minister under the Inukai Tsuyoshi administration, however, he was forced to resign his position in 1932 due to illness, he died in 1934 at the age of 74. His grave is at the temple of Gokoku-ji in Tokyo. Frederick, Louse. Japan Encyclopedia. Belknap Press. ISBN 0674007700 Hunter, Janet. A Concise Dictionary of Modern Japanese History.
University of California Press. ISBN 0520045572 Johnson, Chalmers. Miti and the Japanese Miracle: The Growth of Industrial Policy, 1925–1975. Stanford University Press. ISBN 0804712069 Sims, Richard. Japanese Political History Since the Meiji Renovation 1868–2000. Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 0-312-23915-7 Tatsuki, Mariko. First century of Mitsui O. S. K Lines, Ltd.. OCoLC 656221126
World War II
World War II known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries; the major participants threw their entire economic and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China, it included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, the only use of nuclear weapons in war. Japan, which aimed to dominate Asia and the Pacific, was at war with China by 1937, though neither side had declared war on the other. World War II is said to have begun on 1 September 1939, with the invasion of Poland by Germany and subsequent declarations of war on Germany by France and the United Kingdom.
From late 1939 to early 1941, in a series of campaigns and treaties, Germany conquered or controlled much of continental Europe, formed the Axis alliance with Italy and Japan. Under the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact of August 1939, Germany and the Soviet Union partitioned and annexed territories of their European neighbours, Finland and the Baltic states. Following the onset of campaigns in North Africa and East Africa, the fall of France in mid 1940, the war continued between the European Axis powers and the British Empire. War in the Balkans, the aerial Battle of Britain, the Blitz, the long Battle of the Atlantic followed. On 22 June 1941, the European Axis powers launched an invasion of the Soviet Union, opening the largest land theatre of war in history; this Eastern Front trapped most crucially the German Wehrmacht, into a war of attrition. In December 1941, Japan launched a surprise attack on the United States as well as European colonies in the Pacific. Following an immediate U. S. declaration of war against Japan, supported by one from Great Britain, the European Axis powers declared war on the U.
S. in solidarity with their Japanese ally. Rapid Japanese conquests over much of the Western Pacific ensued, perceived by many in Asia as liberation from Western dominance and resulting in the support of several armies from defeated territories; the Axis advance in the Pacific halted in 1942. Key setbacks in 1943, which included a series of German defeats on the Eastern Front, the Allied invasions of Sicily and Italy, Allied victories in the Pacific, cost the Axis its initiative and forced it into strategic retreat on all fronts. In 1944, the Western Allies invaded German-occupied France, while the Soviet Union regained its territorial losses and turned toward Germany and its allies. During 1944 and 1945 the Japanese suffered major reverses in mainland Asia in Central China, South China and Burma, while the Allies crippled the Japanese Navy and captured key Western Pacific islands; the war in Europe concluded with an invasion of Germany by the Western Allies and the Soviet Union, culminating in the capture of Berlin by Soviet troops, the suicide of Adolf Hitler and the German unconditional surrender on 8 May 1945.
Following the Potsdam Declaration by the Allies on 26 July 1945 and the refusal of Japan to surrender under its terms, the United States dropped atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on 6 and 9 August respectively. With an invasion of the Japanese archipelago imminent, the possibility of additional atomic bombings, the Soviet entry into the war against Japan and its invasion of Manchuria, Japan announced its intention to surrender on 15 August 1945, cementing total victory in Asia for the Allies. Tribunals were set up by fiat by the Allies and war crimes trials were conducted in the wake of the war both against the Germans and the Japanese. World War II changed the political social structure of the globe; the United Nations was established to foster international co-operation and prevent future conflicts. The Soviet Union and United States emerged as rival superpowers, setting the stage for the nearly half-century long Cold War. In the wake of European devastation, the influence of its great powers waned, triggering the decolonisation of Africa and Asia.
Most countries whose industries had been damaged moved towards economic expansion. Political integration in Europe, emerged as an effort to end pre-war enmities and create a common identity; the start of the war in Europe is held to be 1 September 1939, beginning with the German invasion of Poland. The dates for the beginning of war in the Pacific include the start of the Second Sino-Japanese War on 7 July 1937, or the Japanese invasion of Manchuria on 19 September 1931. Others follow the British historian A. J. P. Taylor, who held that the Sino-Japanese War and war in Europe and its colonies occurred and the two wars merged in 1941; this article uses the conventional dating. Other starting dates sometimes used for World War II include the Italian invasion of Abyssinia on 3 October 1935; the British historian Antony Beevor views the beginning of World War II as the Battles of Khalkhin Gol fought between Japan and the fo
Ministry of Agriculture and Commerce
The Ministry of Agriculture and Commerce was a cabinet-level ministry in the government of the Empire of Japan from 1881-1925. It was recreated as the Ministry of Agriculture and Commerce during World War II The original Ministry of Agriculture and Commerce was created on April 7, 1881 under the Meiji Daijō-kan Cabinet, re-established under the Meiji Constitution, it combined the Bureaus of Agriculture, Natural History and post station maintenance which were directly under the Prime Minister with the Bureau of Commerce under the control of the Ministry of Finance. The new Ministry was tasked by the Meiji oligarchy with improving production of natural resources and promoting the rapid industrialization of Japan. Although nominally its duties included the protection of workers, in reality it served the needs of industry by guaranteeing a stable labor supply. On December 25, 1885, with the abolishment of the Ministry of Industry, the Ministry of Agriculture and Commerce gained the Bureau of Mines and the Bureau of Civil Engineering.
On April 1, 1896 a decision was made to denationalize the steel industry. All government-owned steel mills were divested to private enterprise by February 5, 1901; the Ministry was instrumental in passing the Japanese Factory Act of 1903, which reformed and regulated labor conditions in factories. On April 1, 1925, the Ministry of Agriculture and Commence was divided into the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry; the division was a result of long-standing acrimony within the ministry between the “commerce” portion of the ministry, which sought expanded overseas trade, the protectionist “agriculture” portion of the ministry which sought to ban imports of food rice. In the aftermath of the Rice Riots of 1918, expanded imports of rice into Japan financially ruined many farmers, the inherently conflicting goals of the two halves of the ministry became apparent. However, during World War II, the Ministry of Munitions, Ministry of Transport and Communications and the Planning Board absorbed most of the functions of the Ministry of Commerce, the vestigial remains were merged with the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry to re-establish the Ministry of Agriculture and Commerce on November 1, 1943.
In addition to promoting agriculture, the re-formed ministry was in charge of distribution of rationed goods. The Ministry was abolished on August 26, 1945, after the surrender of Japan by order of the Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers. In the post-war Showa Constitution, the ministries were again divided into the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry and Ministry of Commerce. Agriculture in the Empire of Japan Harari, Ehud; the Politics of Labor Legislation in Japan. University of California Press. ISBN 0-520-02264-5
Hiranuma Kiichirō was a prominent pre–World War II right-wing Japanese politician and the 24th Prime Minister of Japan from 5 January 1939 to 30 August 1939. He was sentenced to life imprisonment. Hiranuma was born in what is now Tsuyama City, Okayama Prefecture, as the son of a low-ranking samurai from the Tsuyama Domain of Mimasaka Province, he graduated with a degree in English law from Tokyo Imperial University in 1888. After graduation, he obtained a posting in the Ministry of Justice. In 1911 he was the prosecutor for the High Treason Incident; this was a closed court trial of 25 men and 1 woman, including 4 Buddhist monks, which resulted in the execution of 12, including the feminist author, Kanno Suga. Hiranuma established a reputation during his time at the Ministry of Justice as a strong opponent of government corruption handling a number of high-profile cases, he served as the director of the Tokyo High Court, public prosecutor of the Supreme Court, Director of the Civil and Criminal Affairs Bureau.
In 1909, he secured the conviction of 25 former and serving members of the Diet of Japan for accepting bribes from the Japan Sugar Company. He rose to become Vice Minister of Justice in 1911, Public Prosecutor-general in 1912. In 1915, he forced Home Minister Ōura Kanetake in the cabinet of Prime Minister Ōkuma Shigenobu to resign due to suspected bribery. Hiranuma was outspoken against the corruption and immorality in Japan's political parties, this attitude soon expanded to include what he perceived to be threatening foreign influences, such as socialism and liberal democracy. With Sadao Araki, Hiranuma created the Kokuhonsha group, as well as participating in other nationalist groups. In 1921, Hiranuma became chief of the Supreme Court of Japan. Hiranuma became Minister of Justice under the second Yamamoto administration from September 1923 to January 1924. While Minister, he promoted the creation of the Tokkō to combat communism and the spread of what he considered subversive ideologies. In 1924, he became chairman of the House of Peers and was appointed to the Privy Council.
In 1926, he was elevated to the title of danshaku under the kazoku peerage system. Hiranuma served on the Privy Council for over 10 years, exerting considerable behind-the-scenes influence, he was opposed to Prime Minister Wakatsuki Reijirō's efforts at economic reform. He was strongly opposed to the ratification of the London Naval Treaty of 1930. In 1931, he rallied support within the government for the Imperial Japanese Army after the army seized control of Manchuria without prior authorization, helped in the creation of Manchukuo, he pushed for Japan's withdrawal from the League of Nations. In 1934, he directed the prosecution during the Teijin Incident, bringing down the administration of Prime Minister Saitō Makoto. In 1936, Hiranuma was appointed President of the Privy Council. Hiranuma was appointed Prime Minister of Japan from 5 January 1939 to 30 August 1939; as Prime Minister, his administration was dominated by the debate on whether or not Japan should ally itself with Germany in order to neutralize the threat posed to Japan by the Soviet Union.
Hiranuma wanted an anti-communist pact, but feared that a military alliance would commit Japan to war against the United States and Great Britain at a time when the bulk of its armed forces were committed to the Second Sino-Japanese War. With the signing of the German-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact in August 1939, Hiranuma's cabinet resigned over this foreign policy issue and over the massive defeat of the Japanese Army in Mongolia during the Nomonhan Incident against the Soviet Union. Hiranuma returned to the government after his resignation as Prime Minister, accepting the post of Home Minister in the second Konoe Fumimaro administration from 21 December 1940 to 18 July 1941; as Home Minister, he was a staunch defender of State Shintoism. Hiranuma declared: "We should research the ancient rites in detail and consider their application in administrative affairs in general and the common life of the nation". However, Hiranuma was opposed to the political and diplomatic actions of Foreign Minister Yōsuke Matsuoka, the Tripartite Pact between Imperial Japan, Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy in 1940.
He withdrew from the government on the resignation of Prime Minister Konoe in October 1941. Hiranuma served as one of the jushin, or unofficial senior advisors, to Emperor Hirohito during World War II. Hiranuma saw the jushin as the core of a new group of genrō advisors, as the last surviving Meiji period genrō, Prince Saionji Kinmochi, died in November 1940; the new group included former Prime Ministers Mitsumasa Yonai, Nobuyuki Abe and Fumimaro Konoe, all of whom supported Japan's aggressive foreign policy and the right-socialist ideals of Kingoro Hashimoto on creation of a Military Shogunate that would manage the Imperial affairs directly. In April 1945, Hiranuma was again appointed President of the Privy Council. After the war, he was arrested by the American Occupation Authorities and was convicted by the International Military Tribunal for the Far East as a Class A War Criminal, given a life sentence. However, he was paroled in early 1952, died shortly afterwards, his grave is at Tama Cemetery, outside of Tokyo.
From the corresponding article in the Japanese Wikipedia Grand Cordon of the Order of the Sacred Treasure Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun Baron Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun with Paulownia Flowers Bix, Herbert P. Hirohito and the Making of Modern Japan. Harper Perennial. ISBN 0-06-093130-2 Br
Kataoka Naoharu, was an entrepreneur and cabinet minister in the Empire of Japan, serving as a member of the Upper House of the Diet of Japan. Kataoka was born on October 13, 1859 in Tosa Province (present-day Kōchi Prefecture, he served as an office with the police force from Shiga Prefecture. In 1880, he was transferred to Tokyo, where he caught the attention of Itō Hirobumi and was recruited into the Home Ministry. However, in 1889, Kataoka was recruited away from a career to accept the post of vice president of Nippon Life Insurance Company, subsequently served as president of the company from 1903–1919, he was president of the Miyako Hotels chain from 1915, served as a member of the board for the Kyōdō Bank and Kansai Railways. Kataoka returned to political life as a member of the Lower House of the Diet of Japan in the 1892 General Election, was subsequently re-elected eight times. A political ally of Katsura Tarō, he joined Katsura’s Rikken Dōshikai political party in 1913 and subsequently served as a senior official in the Kenseikai.
As a politician, he was sympathetic to labor relations issues, advocating a government-run worker’s insurance plan and an easing of police restrictions on labor protests. Kataoka joined the cabinet during the 2nd administration of Prime Minister Katō Takaaki as Minister of Commerce and Industry in 1924, he served as Minister of Finance under the 1st cabinet of Wakatsuki Reijirō in 1927. However, his public proclamation during budgetary deliberations on March 14, 1927 that the Tokyo Watanabe Bank had gone bankrupt, when in fact it had not, resulted a bank run and was one of the main factors behind the Shōwa financial crisis and the collapse of the Wakatsuki administration. Kataoka was awarded with a seat in the House of Peers from 1930, he died on May 21, 1934
Protectionism is the economic policy of restricting imports from other countries through methods such as tariffs on imported goods, import quotas, a variety of other government regulations. Proponents claim that protectionist policies shield the producers and workers of the import-competing sector in the country from foreign competitors. However, they reduce trade and adversely affect consumers in general, harm the producers and workers in export sectors, both in the country implementing protectionist policies, in the countries protected against. There is a consensus among economists that protectionism has a negative effect on economic growth and economic welfare, while free trade and the reduction of trade barriers has a positive effect on economic growth; some scholars have implicated protectionism as the cause of some economic crises, most notably the Great Depression. However, trade liberalization can sometimes result in large and unequally distributed losses and gains, can, in the short run, cause significant economic dislocation of workers in import-competing sectors.
A variety of policies have been used to achieve protectionist goals. These include: Tariffs and import quotas are the most common types of protectionist policies. A tariff is an excise tax. Imposed to raise government revenue, modern tariffs are now more designed to protect domestic producers that compete with foreign importers. An import quota is a limit on the volume of a good that may be imported established through an import licensing regime. Protection of technologies, patents and scientific knowledge Restrictions on foreign direct investment, such as restrictions on the acquisition of domestic firms by foreign investors. Administrative barriers: Countries are sometimes accused of using their various administrative rules as a way to introduce barriers to imports. Anti-dumping legislation: "Dumping" is the practice of firms selling to export markets at lower prices than are charged in domestic markets. Supporters of anti-dumping laws argue that they prevent import of cheaper foreign goods that would cause local firms to close down.
However, in practice, anti-dumping laws are used to impose trade tariffs on foreign exporters. Direct subsidies: Government subsidies are sometimes given to local firms that cannot compete well against imports; these subsidies are purported to "protect" local jobs, to help local firms adjust to the world markets. Export subsidies: Export subsidies are used by governments to increase exports. Export subsidies have the opposite effect of export tariffs because exporters get payment, a percentage or proportion of the value of exported. Export subsidies increase the amount of trade, in a country with floating exchange rates, have effects similar to import subsidies. Exchange rate control: A government may intervene in the foreign exchange market to lower the value of its currency by selling its currency in the foreign exchange market. Doing so will raise the cost of imports and lower the cost of exports, leading to an improvement in its trade balance. However, such a policy is only effective in the short run, as it will lead to higher inflation in the country in the long run, which will in turn raise the real cost of exports, reduce the relative price of imports.
International patent systems: There is an argument for viewing national patent systems as a cloak for protectionist trade policies at a national level. Two strands of this argument exist: one when patents held by one country form part of a system of exploitable relative advantage in trade negotiations against another, a second where adhering to a worldwide system of patents confers "good citizenship" status despite'de facto protectionism'. Peter Drahos explains that "States realized that patent systems could be used to cloak protectionist strategies. There were reputational advantages for states to be seen to be sticking to intellectual property systems. One could attend the various revisions of the Paris and Berne conventions, participate in the cosmopolitan moral dialogue about the need to protect the fruits of authorial labor and inventive genius...knowing all the while that one's domestic intellectual property system was a handy protectionist weapon." Political campaigns advocating domestic consumption Preferential governmental spending, such as the Buy American Act, federal legislation which called upon the United States government to prefer US-made products in its purchases.
In the modern trade arena many other initiatives besides tariffs have been called protectionist. For example, some commentators, such as Jagdish Bhagwati, see developed countries efforts in imposing their own labor or environmental standards as protectionism; the imposition of restrictive certification procedures on imports are seen in this light. Further, others point out that free trade agreements have protectionist provisions such as intellectual property and patent restrictions that benefit large corporations; these provisions restrict trade in music, pharmaceuticals and other manufactured items to high cost producers with quotas from low cost producers set to zero. Protectionism was associated with economic theories such as mercantilism, import substitution. In the 18th century, Adam Smith famously warned against the "interested sophistry" of industry