Ministry of War of Japan

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HQ building of the Imperial Japanese Army, Tokyo, from 1937–1945

The Army Ministry of Japan (陸軍省 Rikugun-shō?), more popularly known as the Ministry of War of Japan, was cabinet-level ministry in the Empire of Japan charged with the administrative affairs of the Imperial Japanese Army (IJA). It existed from 1872 to 1945.

History[edit]

The Army Ministry was created in April 1872, along with the Navy Ministry, to replace the Ministry of the Military (兵部省 Hyōbushō?) of the early Meiji government.

Initially, the Army Ministry was in charge of both administration and operational command of the Imperial Japanese Army. However, with the creation of the Imperial Japanese Army General Staff in December 1878, it was left with only administrative functions. Its primary role was to secure the army budget, weapons procurement, personnel, relations with the Diet of Japan and the Cabinet and broad matters of military policy.

The post of Army Minister was politically powerful. Although a member of the Cabinet after the establishment of the cabinet system of government in 1885, the Army Minister was answerable directly to the Emperor (the commander-in-chief of all Japanese armed forces under the Meiji Constitution) and not the Prime Minister.

From the time of its creation, the post of Army Minister was usually filled by an active-duty general in the Imperial Japanese Army. This practice was made into law under the "Military Ministers to be Active-Duty Officers Law" (軍部大臣現役武官制 Gumbu daijin gen'eki bukan sei?) in 1900 by Prime Minister Yamagata Aritomo to curb the influence of political parties into military affairs. Abolished in 1913 under the administration of Yamamoto Gonnohyōe, the law was revived again in 1936 at the insistence of the Army General Staff by Prime Minister Hirota Kōki. At the same time, the Imperial Japanese Army prohibited its generals from accepting political offices except by permission from the Army high command. Taken together, these arrangements gave the Imperial Japanese Army an effective, legal right to nominate (or refuse to nominate) the Army Minister. The ability of the Imperial Japanese Army to refuse to nominate an Army Minister gave it effective veto power over the formation (or continuation) of any civilian administration, and was a key factor in the erosion of representative democracy and the rise of Japanese militarism.

After 1937, both the Army Minister and the Chief of the Army General Staff were members of the Imperial General Headquarters.

With the defeat of the Empire of Japan in World War II, the Army Ministry was abolished together with the Imperial Japanese Army by the American occupation authorities in November 1945 and was not revived in the post-war Constitution of Japan.

Organization[edit]

  • Under-Secretary of the Army (Vice Minister)
    • Military Affairs Bureau
    • Personnel Bureau
    • Weapons Bureau
    • Army Service Bureau
    • Administration Bureau
    • Intendance (Accounts and Supply)
    • Medical
    • Judicial Bureau
    • Economic Mobilization Bureau
    • Aeronautical Department
    • Economic Mobilization (abolished in April 1945)

The Army Ministry and Imperial General Headquarters were located was located in Ichigaya Heights, in which is now part of Shinjuku, Tokyo.

Imperial Japanese Military
Empire of Japan
Administration
Imperial General Headquarters
Components
 Imperial Japanese Army
(Dai Nippon Teikoku Rikugun)
        Imperial Japanese Army Air Service
        Railways and Shipping Section
    Uniforms
 Imperial Japanese Navy
(Dai Nippon Teikoku Kaigun)
        Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service
        Imperial Japanese Navy Land Forces
    Major battles
    List of ships
    List of aircraft
    Main admirals
Rank insignia
Army rank insignia
Naval rank insignia
History of the Japanese Military
Military History of Japan during World War II

Ministers of Army of Japan[edit]

Name Cabinet From To
1 Ōyama Iwao 1st Itō 22 December 1885 30 April 1888
2 Ōyama Iwao Kuroda 30 April 1888 24 December 1889
3 Ōyama Iwao 1st Yamagata 24 December 1889 6 May 1891
4 Ōyama Iwao 1st Matsukata 6 May 1891 17 May 1891
5 Takashima Tomonosuke 1st Matsukata 17 May 1891 8 August 1892
6 Ōyama Iwao 2nd Itō 8 August 1892 18 September 1896
7 Ōyama Iwao 2nd Matsukata 18 September 1896 20 September 1896
8 Takashima Tomonosuke 2nd Matsukata 20 September 1896 12 January 1898
9 Katsura Tarō 3rd Itō 12 January 1898 30 June 1898
10 Katsura Tarō 1st Ōkuma 30 June 1898 8 November 1898
11 Katsura Tarō 2nd Yamagata 8 November 1898 19 October 1900
12 Katsura Tarō 4th Itō 19 October 1900 23 December 1900
13 Kodama Gentarō 4th Itō 23 December 1900 2 June 1901
14 Kodama Gentarō 1st Katsura 2 June 1901 27 March 1902
15 Terauchi Masatake 1st Katsura 27 March 1902 7 January 1906
16 Terauchi Masatake 1st Saionji 7 January 1906 14 July 1908
17 Terauchi Masatake 2nd Katsura 14 July 1908 30 August 1911
18 Ishimoto Shinroku 2nd Saionji 30 August 1911 2 April 1912
19 Uehara Yūsaku 2nd Saionji 5 April 1912 21 December 1912
20 Kigoshi Yasutsuna 3rd Katsura 21 December 1912 20 February 1913
21 Kigoshi Yasutsuna 1st Yamamoto 20 February 1913 24 June 1913
22 Kusunose Yukihiko 1st Yamamoto 24 June 1913 16 April 1914
23 Oka Ichinosuke 2nd Ōkuma 16 April 1914 30 March 1916
24 Ōshima Ken'ichi 2nd Ōkuma 30 March 1916 9 October 1916
25 Ōshima Ken'ichi Terauchi 9 October 1916 29 September 1918
26 Tanaka Giichi Hara 29 September 1918 9 June 1921
27 Yamanashi Hanzō Hara 9 June 1921 13 November 1921
28 Yamanashi Hanzō Takahashi 13 November 1921 12 June 1922
29 Yamanashi Hanzō Katō 12 June 1922 2 September 1923
30 Tanaka Giichi 2nd Yamamoto 2 September 1923 7 January 1924
31 Ugaki Kazushige Kiyoura 7 January 1924 11 June 1924
32 Ugaki Kazushige Katō 11 June 1924 30 January 1926
33 Ugaki Kazushige 1st Wakatsuki 30 January 1926 20 April 1927
34 Shirakawa Yoshinori 1st Tanaka 20 April 1927 2 July 1929
35 Ugaki Kazushige Hamaguchi 2 July 1929 14 April 1931
36 Minami Jirō 2nd Wakatsuki 14 April 1931 13 December 1931
37 Araki Sadao Inukai 13 December 1931 26 May 1932
38 Araki Sadao Saitō 26 May 1932 23 January 1934
39 Hayashi Senjūrō Saitō 23 January 1934 8 July 1934
40 Hayashi Senjūrō Okada 8 July 1934 5 September 1935
41 Kawashima Yoshiyuki Okada 5 September 1935 9 March 1936
42 Terauchi Hisaichi Hirota 9 March 1936 2 February 1937
43 Nakamura Kōtarō Hayashi 2 February 1937 9 February 1937
44 Sugiyama Hajime Hayashi 9 February 1937 4 June 1937
45 Sugiyama Hajime 1st Konoe 4 June 1937 3 June 1938
46 Itagaki Seishirō 1st Konoe 3 June 1937 5 January 1939
47 Itagaki Seishirō 1st Hiranuma 5 January 1939 30 August 1939
48 Hata Shunroku Abe 30 August 1939 16 January 1940
49 Hata Shunroku Yonai 16 January 1940 22 July 1940
50 Tōjō Hideki 2nd Konoe 22 July 1940 18 July 1941
51 Tōjō Hideki 3rd Konoe 18 July 1941 18 October 1941
52 Tōjō Hideki Tōjō 18 October 1941 22 July 1944
53 Sugiyama Hajime Koiso 22 July 1944 7 April 1945
54 Anami Korechika Suzuki 7 April 1945 14 August 1945
55 Higashikuni Naruhiko Higashikuni 17 August 1945 23 August 1945
56 Shimomura Sadamu Higashikuni 23 August 1945 9 October 1945
57 Shimomura Sadamu Shidehara 9 October 1945 1 December 1945

References[edit]

  • Edgerton, Robert B. (1999). Warriors of the Rising Sun: A History of the Japanese Military. Westview Press. ISBN 0-8133-3600-7. 
  • Harries, Meirion (1994). Soldiers of the Sun: The Rise and Fall of the Imperial Japanese Army. Random House. ISBN 0-679-75303-6. 
  • "Foreign Office Files for Japan and the Far East". Adam Matthew Publications. Accessed 2 March 2005.