Genki Abe

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Genki Abe
Genki Abe.JPG
Born (1894-02-14)February 14, 1894
Kumage District, Yamaguchi, Japan
Died October 8, 1989(1989-10-08) (aged 95)
Nationality Japanese
Education Tokyo Imperial University
Occupation Police official, Cabinet Minister
In this Japanese name, the family name is "Abe".

Genki Abe (安倍源基 Abe Genki ?, 14 February 1894 – 8 October 1989) was a lawyer, police bureaucrat and cabinet minister in early Shōwa period Japan.

Biography[edit]

Abe was born in Kumage District, Yamaguchi, in what is now part of the town of Hirao, as the eldest son of an ex-samurai. After his graduation in 1920 from the law school of Tokyo Imperial University, he entered the Home Ministry.

In 1932, Abe was appointed Bureau Chief of the Tokubetsu Kōtō Keisatsu (Tokkō), the Japanese special higher police force equivalent to the American Federal Bureau of Investigation, combining both criminal investigation and counter-espionage functions. Under the Peace Preservation Laws, the Tokkō was especially tasked to investigate and control political groups and ideologies deemed to be a threat to public order.[1] Abe quickly made a name for himself in this position by spearheading a vigorous campaign against the Japan Communist Party and suspected sympathizers and supporters from 1932 to 1933, during which time at least 19 people arrested for political crimes died during interrogation while in police custody, including noted proletarian literature movement author Takiji Kobayashi.

Following the February 26 incident, Abe was a member of the council supervising enforcement of martial law in Tokyo. In 1937, Abe rose to the position of Superintendent-General of the Police, the highest ranking office in the police administration. He was reappointed to the same position in 1940. In 1941, Abe became Deputy Director of the Cabinet Planning Board.

In 1945, towards the closing stages of World War II, Abe was made Home Minister under the Suzuki Kantarō administration and President of the Cabinet Planning Board. He was critical of Japan’s lack of adequate air raid shelters, which he asserted was due to the government’s fear of public reaction and concerns that this would interfere with war production.[2] He was also outspoken in his opposition to acceptance of the Potsdam Declaration, one of the conditions imposed on the surrender of Japan, fearing that the Imperial Japanese Army would revolt, and assassinate the signers of the acceptance declaration [3]

After the surrender of Japan, Abe was (along with all other members of the wartime government), was arrested on charges of Class A war crimes by orders of the American occupation authorities and was held in Sugamo Prison. However, he was never brought to trial, and was released after the execution of Hideki Tojo. Subsequently, Abe was active with Nobusuke Kishi in laying the foundations for the post-war Liberal Party. However, in the 1952 General Election, he ran for a seat lower house of the Diet of Japan, but was not elected.[4] He retired thereafter from public life, and died in 1989 at the age of 95.

References[edit]

  • Garon, Sheldon. The State and Labor In Modern Japan. University of California Press (2004). ISBN 0195171764
  • Hunter, Janet. A Concise Dictionary of Modern Japanese History . University of California Press (1994). ISBN 0520045572
  • Tipton, Elise (2001). Japanese Police State Tokko - the Interwar Japan. Allen and Unwin. ASIN B000TYWIKW. 
  • Wainstock, Dennis D (1996). The Decision to Drop the Atomic Bomb. Praeger. ISBN 0275954757. 
  • Chalmers, Johnson (1982). MITI and the japanese miracle: growth of industrial policy : 1925-1975. Stanford University Press. ISBN 0804712069. 

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ W. G. Beasley, The Rise of Modern Japan, p 184 ISBN 0-312-04077-6
  2. ^ Wainstock, The Decision to Drop of Atomic Bomb, page 10
  3. ^ Wainstock, 138
  4. ^ Johnson. MITI and the Japanese Miracle, page 139
Political offices
Preceded by
Shigeo Ōdachi
Home Minister
7 April 1945 – 17 August 1945
Succeeded by
Iwao Yamazaki