Ministry of the Navy of Japan

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Navy Ministry in Tokyo

The Navy Ministry of Japan (海軍省 Kaigunshō?) was a cabinet-level ministry in the Empire of Japan charged with the administrative affairs of the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN). It existed from 1872 to 1945.

History[edit]

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

Initially, the Navy Ministry was in charge of both administration and operational command of the Imperial Japanese Navy. However, with the creation of the Imperial Japanese Navy General Staff in May 1893, it was left with only administrative functions.

"The ministry was responsible for the naval budget, ship construction, weapons procurement, personnel, relations with the Diet and the cabinet and broad matters of naval policy. The General Staff directed the operations of the fleet and the preparation of war plans".[1] The post of Navy Minister was politically powerful. Although a member of the Cabinet after the establishment of the cabinet system of government in 1885, the Navy 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.

Up until the 1920s, the Navy Ministry held the upper hand over the Navy General Staff in terms of political influence. However, the officers of the Navy General Staff found an opportunity at the Washington Naval Conference in 1921–22 to improve their situation. At this meeting, the United States and Britain wanted to establish a worldwide naval ratio, asking the Japanese to limit themselves to a smaller navy than the Western powers. The Naval Ministry was willing to agree to this, seeking to maintain the Anglo-Japanese Alliance, but the Navy General Staff refused. The Imperial Japanese Navy became divided into mutually hostile Fleet Faction and Treaty Faction political cliques. Ultimately, the treaty was signed by Japan, but terminated in 1934. Through the 1930s, with increasing Japanese militarism, the Fleet Faction gradually gained ascendancy over the Treaty Faction and came to dominate the Navy General Staff, which pushed through the attack on Pearl Harbor against the resistance of the Navy Ministry.

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

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

Organization[edit]

Internally Operating Divisions[edit]

  • Military Affairs Bureau
  • Mobilization Bureau
  • Technical Bureau
  • Personnel Bureau
  • Training Bureau
  • Medical Bureau
  • Shipyard Bureau
  • Naval Construction Bureau
  • Legal Bureau
  • Administrative/Accounting Bureau

Externally Operating Divisions[edit]

  • Navy Aviation Bureau
  • Navy Academy
  • Naval War College (Japan)
  • Naval Accounting School
  • Navy Medical School
  • Naval Engineering School
  • Submarine Division
  • Canals and Waterways Division
  • Naval Technical Department
  • Naval Tribunal
  • Tokyo Naval Tribunal
  • Chemical Warfare Division
  • Radio and Radar Division
  • Supply and Transport Bureau
  • Naval Construction Division
  • Naval Maintenance & Repair Division
  • Special Attack Weapons Division
  • Emergency Reaction Division
  • Naval Aviation Training Division
  • Naval Intelligence Division
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 the Navy of Japan[edit]

By law, Navy Ministers had to be appointed from active duty admirals or vice-admirals.

Naval Lords under the Ministry of Military Affairs[edit]

Naval Ministers under the Meiji Constitution[edit]

Name Cabinet From To
1 Saigō Tsugumichi 1st Itō 22 December 1885 30 April 1888
2 Saigō Tsugumichi Kuroda 30 April 1888 24 December 1889
3 Saigō Tsugumichi 1st Yamagata 24 December 1889 17 May 1890
4 Kabayama Sukenori 1st Yamagata 17 May 1890 6 May 1891
5 Kabayama Sukenori 1st Matsukata 6 May 1891 8 August 1892
6 Nire Kagenori 2nd Itō 8 August 1892 11 March 1893
7 Saigō Tsugumichi 2nd Itō 11 March 1893 11 September 1896
8 Saigō Tsugumichi 2nd Matsukata 11 September 1896 12 January 1898
9 Saigō Tsugumichi 3rd Itō 12 January 1898 30 June 1898
10 Saigō Tsugumichi 1st Ōkuma 30 June 1898 8 November 1898
11 Yamamoto Gonnohyōe 2nd Yamagata 8 November 1898 19 October 1900
12 Yamamoto Gonnohyōe 4th Itō 19 October 1900 2 June 1901
13 Yamamoto Gonnohyōe 1st Katsura 2 June 1901 7 January 1906
14 Saitō Makoto 1st Saionji 7 January 1906 14 July 1908
15 Saitō Makoto 2nd Katsura 14 July 1908 30 August 1911
16 Saitō Makoto 2nd Saionji 30 August 1911 21 December 1912
17 Saitō Makoto 3rd Katsura 21 December 1912 20 February 1913
18 Saitō Makoto 1st Yamamoto 20 February 1913 16 April 1914
19 Yashiro Rokurō 2nd Ōkuma 16 April 1914 8 October 1915
20 Katō Tomosaburō 2nd Ōkuma 8 October 1915 9 October 1916
21 Katō Tomosaburō Terauchi 9 October 1916 29 September 1918
22 Katō Tomosaburō Hara 29 September 1918 13 November 1921
23 Katō Tomosaburō Takahashi 13 November 1921 12 June 1922
24 Katō Tomosaburō Katō 12 June 1922 15 May 1923
25 Takarabe Takeshi Katō 15 May 1923 2 September 1923
26 Takarabe Takeshi 2nd Yamamoto 2 September 1923 7 January 1924
27 Murakami Kakuichi Kiyoura 7 January 1924 11 June 1924
28 Takarabe Takeshi Katō 11 June 1924 30 January 1926
29 Takarabe Takeshi 1st Wakatsuki 30 January 1926 20 April 1927
30 Okada Keisuke 1st Tanaka 20 April 1927 2 July 1929
31 Takarabe Takeshi Hamaguchi 2 July 1929 3 October 1930
32 Abo Kiyokazu Hamaguchi 3 October 1930 14 April 1931
33 Abo Kiyokazu 2nd Wakatsuki 14 April 1931 13 December 1931
34 Ōsumi Mineo Inukai 13 December 1931 26 May 1932
35 Okada Keisuke Saitō 26 May 1932 9 January 1933
36 Ōsumi Mineo Saitō 9 January 1933 8 July 1934
37 Ōsumi Mineo Okada 8 July 1934 9 March 1936
38 Nagano Osami Hirota 9 March 1936 2 February 1937
39 Yonai Mitsumasa Hayashi 2 February 1937 4 June 1937
40 Yonai Mitsumasa 1st Konoe 4 June 1937 5 January 1939
41 Yonai Mitsumasa 1st Hiranuma 5 January 1939 30 August 1939
42 Yoshida Zengo Abe 30 August 1939 16 January 1940
43 Yoshida Zengo Yonai 16 January 1940 22 July 1940
44 Yoshida Zengo 2nd Konoe 22 July 1940 5 September 1940
45 Oikawa Koshirō 2nd Konoe 5 September 1940 18 July 1941
46 Oikawa Koshirō 3rd Konoe 18 July 1941 18 October 1941
47 Shimada Shigetarō Tōjō 18 October 1941 17 July 1944
48 Nomura Naokuni Tōjō 17 July 1944 22 July 1944
49 Mitsumasa Yonai Koiso 22 July 1944 7 April 1945
50 Yonai Mitsumasa Suzuki 7 April 1945 17 August 1945
51 Yonai Mitsumasa Higashikuni 17 August 1945 9 October 1945
52 Yonai Mitsumasa Shidehara 9 October 1945 1 December 1945

References[edit]

Books[edit]

  • Asada, Sadao (2006). From Mahan to Pearl Harbor: The Imperial Japanese Navy and the United States. US Naval Institute Press. ISBN 1-55750-042-8. 
  • Schencking, J. Charles (2005). Making Waves: Politics, Propaganda, And The Emergence Of The Imperial Japanese Navy, 1868–1922. Stanford University Press. ISBN 0-8047-4977-9. 
  • Spector, Ronald (1985). Eagle Against the Sun. New York: Vintage Books. ISBN 0-394-74101-3. 

External links[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Spector

See also[edit]

Kaiyō No.1-class oceanographic research ship