Shōzō Murata

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
In this Japanese name, the family name is "Murata".
Shōzō Murata

Shōzō Murata (村田 省蔵 Murata Shōzō?, 6 September 1878 - 15 March 1957) was a Japanese entrepreneur, cabinet minister and diplomat before, during and after World War II.


Murata was a native of Tokyo and a graduate of the Tokyo Higher Commerce School (now Hitotsubashi University). After graduation, he went to work with the Osaka Shosen Kaisha (currently Mitsui O.S.K. Lines), and transformed the relatively small company into a major shipping company. He served as company president from 1934-1940. In 1939, he was appointed to the House of Peers.

Murata was representative of successful private entrepreneurs who were invited to join the Taisei Yokusankai political organization created by Fumimaro Konoe and his followers, and took active participation in debate on the state socialist controlled economy created under the National Mobilization Law. He was invited to become both Minister of Communications and Minister of Railways when Konoe became Prime Minister of Japan in 1940.

In 1943, Murata became Japanese ambassador to the Second Philippine Republic, and special advisor to the Japanese Fourteenth Area Army of the Imperial Japanese Army. He was recalled to Japan in 1945 to assume the post of Minister of Transportation.

In 1946,( original sources : September 1945 cf Murata was taken into custody by the American occupation authorities and held at Sugamo Prison, where he was to be tried for war crimes, but was released without being formally charged.

In the post-war period, Murata was president of the Japan Association for the Promotion of Overseas Trade, and a number of other charity associations. He was also appointed special ambassador to the Philippines and worked towards the restoration of diplomatic relations between the Philippines, China and Japan.