Count Itō Miyoji
May 7, 1857|
|Died||February 19, 1934
|Occupation||Politician, Cabinet Minister, Newspaper Owner|
Itō was born into a local samurai administrator's family in Nagasaki, Hizen Province (present-day Nagasaki Prefecture). From his early days, he showed a mastery of foreign languages. In the new Meiji government he worked as a translation official for Hyōgo Prefecture specializing in English, and was later selected to accompany Itō Hirobumi (no relation) to Europe in 1882 to investigate the constitutions and governmental structures of various European counties, with the aim of creating a constitution for Japan.
At the same time, Itō Miyoji was also president of the pro-government newspaper, the Tokyo Nichinichi Shimbun (the predecessor to the modern Mainichi Shimbun).
From 1899, Itō Miyoji served as a member of the Privy Council. In 1907, he was ennobled with the title of danshaku (baron) under the kazoku peerage system. He was further elevated to hakushaku (count) in 1922.
In his later years, Itō was the bane of civilian government through his consistent and conservative use of the Tokyo Nichinichi Shimbun to inflame public opinion. During the Shōwa financial crisis, he brought out the collapse of the administration of Prime Minister Wakatsuki Reijirō through a virulent bad-press campaign. He also strongly criticized Prime Minister Hamaguchi Osachi for signing the London Naval Treaty on arms limitations as infringing on the direct prerogatives of the emperor.
References and further reading
- Gordon, Andrew. A Modern History of Japan: From Tokugawa Times to the Present. Oxford University Press, 2003. ISBN 0-19-511061-7
- Sims, Richard. Japanese Political History Since the Meiji Renovation 1868-2000. Palgrave Macmillan, 2001) ISBN 0-312-23914-9
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|Chief Cabinet Secretary
|Minister of Agriculture & Commerce