Ken Harada (diplomat)

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Your Excellency (閣下, Kakka)

Ken Harada
Close up of the head and shoulders of a solemn middle-aged Japanese man with a small mustache. He is wearing a suit, tie, and glasses.
Special Minister of Japan to the Holy See
In office
April 1942 – 1945
Chargé d'affaires from Japan to Vichy France
In office
Ambassador of Japan to Italy
In office
Personal details
DiedSeptember 18, 1973 (aged 80)[1]
Nationality Japan

Ken Harada (原田 健, Harada Ken, born 1893 - September 18, 1973)[2] was a chargé d'affaires to Vichy France[2][3] and a diplomat to the Holy See from Japan.[4] He was appointed as a special envoy to the Vatican, and served in this capacity from 1942 to 1945.[2] He was the first diplomatic representative to the Vatican from Japan.[3]

Diplomat to the Holy See[edit]

In 1942, the Holy See began de facto diplomatic relations with Japan, though the United States and United Kingdom protested. Ken Harada was made the first Japanese special envoy to the Holy See, and Archbishop Paolo Marella became the Nuncio to Japan.[5] Harada arrived in the Vatican City in April 1942,[6] and was officially received on May 9, 1942.[7] Harada expressed Japan's desire for peace to Pope Pius XII on occasion, a year before Japan agreed to peace.[8] The Japanese government denied that Harada had expressed a willingness for the country to negotiate peace, declaring the report was "so absurd it is not worth the trouble to deny,"[9] though people close to the Vatican confirmed that the meeting had occurred.[10]

Upon the end of Harada's appointment, Pope Pius XII knighted Harada into the Order of St. Sylvester.[11]

Harada served as Japan's ambassador to Italy after World War II.[12]

Grand master of the ceremonies[edit]

He later obtained a post as the Grand Master of the Ceremonies with the Imperial Household Agency[1][13]


  • Quigley, Martin (1991). Peace without Hiroshima: secret action at the Vatican in the spring of 1945 (snippet). Madison Books.
  • Harada, Ken, ed. (1971). 原田助遺集 (Harada Tasuku ishū). University of California. (papers of the father, Tasuku Harada, president of Dōshisha University)
  • Harada, Wakako, ed. (1974). 原田健遺集 (Harada Ken ishū). Kawakita Insatsu Kabushiki Kaisha. (item not on sale)
  • Les problèmes du Japon d'aujourd'hui. Banco di Roma. 1954.


  1. ^ a b Quigley, p. 156: "The former Ambassador and Grand Master of the Ceremonies of the Imperial Household died in Tokyo on September 18, 1973"
  2. ^ a b c Ken Harada Dead at 80 (1973), 1.
  3. ^ a b Associated Press (1942), 2.
  4. ^ Pope Receives Ken Harada (1946), 1.
  5. ^ Rising Sun at the Vatican (1942), 71.
  6. ^ Keogh (1995), 167.
  7. ^ Blet (1999), 131.
  8. ^ United Press International (1944), 1.
  9. ^ Associated Press [Ellensburg Daily Record] (1944), 6.
  10. ^ Associated Press [The Milwaukee Sentinel] (1944), 1.
  11. ^ Associated Press (1946), 1.
  12. ^ "New ambassador ROME Thurs". The Straits Times. Singapore. October 10, 1952. p. 3. Archived from the original on September 26, 2013. Japan's first postwar ambassador to Italy, arrived here today by air from Tokyo.
  13. ^ Quigley, p. 168: "Following his service at the Vatican Ambassador Ken Harada was appointed by the Emperor Grand Master of the Ceremonies of the Imperial Household"