Ministry of Greater East Asia

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10 sen Japanese postage stamp depicting a map of the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere.

The Ministry of Greater East Asia (大東亜省 Daitōashō?) was a cabinet-level ministry in the government of the Empire of Japan from 1942–1945, established to administer overseas territories obtained by Japan in the Pacific War and to coordinate the establishment and development of the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere.

History and development[edit]

The Ministry of Greater East Asia was established on 1 November 1942 under the administration of Prime Minister Hideki Tōjō, by absorbing the earlier Ministry of Colonial Affairs (拓務省 Takumushō?) and merging it with the East Asia Department and South Pacific Department of the Foreign Ministry and the East Asia Development Board (興亜院 Kōain?), which looked after affairs in Japanese-occupied China.

Theoretically, the ministry had political and administrative responsibilities in a vast (4.4 million square kilometer) area under Japanese influence (from the Aleutians, 4,500 miles south to the Solomon Islands, from Wake Island 5,000 miles to west to Burma and the Andamans), with perhaps a population of over 300 million inhabitants. In reality, wartime conditions meant that the ministry was little more than a paper creation. Aside from the first Minister of Greater East Asia, Kazuo Aoki, all succeeding ministers simultaneously held the portfolio of Foreign Minister

The Ministry of Greater East Asia was abolished on 26 August 1945 by order of the Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers after the surrender of Japan brought an end to Japan's overseas holdings.

Ministers of Greater East Asia[edit]

Name Cabinet From To
1 Aoki Kazuo Tōjō 1 November 1942 22 July 1944
2 Shigemitsu Mamoru Koiso 22 July 1944 7 April 1945
3 Suzuki Kantarō Suzuki 7 April 1945 9 April 1945
4 Tōgō Shigenori Suzuki 9 April 1945 17 August 1945
5 Shigemitsu Mamoru Higashikuni 17 August 1945 25 August 1945

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  • Beasley, W.G. (1991). Japanese Imperialism 1894-1945. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-822168-1. 
  • Lebra, Joyce Chapman (1975). Japan's Greater East Asia Co-prosperity in World War II. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-638265-3. 
  • Myers, Raymond; Mark R Peattie (1987). The Japanese Colonial Empire, 1895-1945. Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691-10222-8. 

External links[edit]