Minister for Foreign Affairs (Japan)

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The Minister for Foreign Affairs (外務大臣, Gaimu Daijin) of Japan is the Cabinet member responsible for Japanese foreign policy and the chief executive of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Since the end of the American occupation of Japan, the position has been one of the most powerful in the Cabinet, as Japan's economic interests have long relied on external relations. The recent efforts of former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi to establish a more interventionist foreign policy have also heightened the importance of the position.

The position is currently held by Tarō Kōno.

List of ministers[edit]

  • Italics indicates subject served as Acting Foreign Minister.
  • Bold indicates subject served concurrently as Prime Minister for a period of time.

Empire of Japan (1885–1945)[edit]

# Portrait Name Took office Left office
1 KaoruM13.jpg Count Inoue Kaoru December 1885 September 1887
Itô Hirobumi.jpg Count Itō Hirobumi September 1887 February 1888
2 Ōkuma Shigenobu.jpg Count Ōkuma Shigenobu
(1st)
February 1888 December 1889
3 Aoki Shuzo2.jpg Viscount Aoki Shūzō
(1st)
December 1889 May 1891
4 Foreign Minister Enomoto Takeaki.jpg Viscount Enomoto Takeaki May 1891 August 1892
5 Munemitsu Mutsu 2.jpg Viscount Mutsu Munemitsu August 1892 May 1896
6 PM Kinmochi Saionji.jpg Marquis Saionji Kinmochi
(1st)
May 1896 September 1896
2 Ōkuma Shigenobu.jpg Count Ōkuma Shigenobu
(2nd)
September 1896 November 1897
7 Tokujiro Nishi.jpg Baron Nishi Tokujirō November 1897 January 1898
2 Ōkuma Shigenobu.jpg Count Ōkuma Shigenobu
(3rd)
January 1898 June 1898
3 Aoki Shuzo2.jpg Viscount Aoki Shūzō
(2nd)
June 1898 October 1900
8 Takaaki Kato suit.jpg Katō Takaaki
(1st)
October 1900 June 1901
9 Sone Arasuke.jpg Sone Arasuke June 1901 September 1901
10 Komura Jutaro in 1905.jpg Baron Komura Jutarō
(1st)
September 1901 January 1906
8 Takaaki Kato suit.jpg Katō Takaaki
(2nd)
January 1906 March 1906
6 PM Kinmochi Saionji.jpg Marquis Saionji Kinmochi
(2nd)
March 1906 May 1906
11 Tadasu Hayashi.png Count Hayashi Tadasu May 1906 July 1908
12 Portrait of Masatake Terauchi.jpg General Viscount Terauchi Masatake
(1st)
July 1908 August 1908
10 Komura Jutaro in 1905.jpg Marquis Komura Jutarō
(2nd)
August 1908 August 1911
13 Kosai Uchida.jpg Viscount Uchida Kosai
(1st)
August 1911 December 1912
14 11 KatsuraT.jpg Prince Katsura Tarō December 1912 January 1913
8 Takaaki Kato suit.jpg Baron Katō Takaaki
(2nd)
January 1913 February 1913
15 Count Nobuaki Makino.jpg Baron Makino Nobuaki February 1913 April 1914
8 Takaaki Kato suit.jpg Baron Katō Takaaki
(3rd)
April 1914 August 1915
2 Shigenobu Okuma 5.jpg Count Ōkuma Shigenobu
(4th)
August 1915 October 1915
16 Kikujiro Ishii.jpg Viscount Ishii Kikujirō October 1915 October 1916
12 Portrait of Masatake Terauchi.jpg Marshal Count Terauchi Masatake
(2nd)
October 1916 November 1916
17 Ichirō Motono.jpg Viscount Motono Ichirō November 1916 April 1918
18 Shimpei Gotō.jpg Baron Gotō Shinpei April 1918 September 1918
13 Kosai Uchida.jpg Count Uchida Kosai
(2nd)
September 1918 2 September 1923
19 Yamamoto Gonnohyoe 2.jpg Admiral Count Yamamoto Gonnohyōe 2 September 1923 19 September 1923
20 Hikokichi Ijuin.jpg Baron Ijuin Hikokichi September 1923 January 1924
21 KeishiroMatsui.jpg Baron Matsui Keishirō January 1924 June 1924
22 Kijuro Shidehara.jpg Baron Kijūrō Shidehara
(1st)
June 1924 April 1927
23 Tanaka Giichi.jpg Baron Tanaka Giichi April 1927 July 1929
22 Kijuro Shidehara.jpg Baron Kijūrō Shidehara
(2nd)
July 1929 December 1931
24 Inukai Tsuyoshi.jpg Inukai Tsuyoshi December 1931 January 1932
25 Kenkichi Yoshizawa 1932.jpg Kenkichi Yoshizawa January 1932 May 1932
26 Makoto Saito 2.jpg Admiral Viscount Saitō Makoto May 1932 July 1932
13 Kosai Uchida.jpg Count Uchida Kosai
(3rd)
July 1932 September 1933
27 Kohki Hirota suit.jpg Kōki Hirota
(1st)
September 1933 March 1936
28 Hachirō Arita.jpg Hachirō Arita
(1st)
March 1936 February 1937
29 Senjuro Hayashi suit.jpg Senjuro Hayashi February 1937 March 1937
30 Naotake Sato.jpg Naotake Satō March 1937 June 1937
27 Kohki Hirota suit.jpg Kōki Hirota
(2nd)
June 1937 May 1938
31 Kazushige Ugaki 2.jpg General Kazushige Ugaki May 1938 September 1938
32 Fumimaro Konoe.jpg Prince Fumimaro Konoe September 1938 October 1938
28 Hachirō Arita.jpg Hachirō Arita
(2nd)
October 1938 January 1939
33 Nobuyuki Abe formal.jpg General Nobuyuki Abe January 1939 August 1939
34 Kichisaburo Nomura 2.jpg Admiral Kichisaburō Nomura August 1939 January 1940
28 Hachirō Arita.jpg Hachirō Arita
(3rd)
January 1940 July 1940
35 Yōsuke Matsuoka.jpg Yōsuke Matsuoka July 1940 July 1941
36 Toyoda Teijirō.JPG Admiral Teijirō Toyoda July 1941 October 1941
37 Shigenori Togo.jpg Shigenori Tōgō
(1st)
October 1941 September 1942
38 Hideki Tojo.jpg General Hideki Tōjō 1 September 1942 17 1942
39 Masayuki Tani September 1942 April 1943
40 Shigemitsu Mamoru.jpg Mamoru Shigemitsu
(1st)
April 1943 April 1945
41 Kantaro Suzuki suit cropped.jpg Admiral Baron Kantarō Suzuki April 1945 April 1945
37 Shigenori Togo.jpg Shigenori Tōgō
(2nd)
April 1945 August 1945
40 Shigemitsu Mamoru.jpg Mamoru Shigemitsu
(2nd)
August 1945 September 1945

Postwar Japan (1945–present)[edit]

  Liberal (1945)
  Imperial Family
  Progressive
  Socialist
  Democratic (1947)
  Democratic Liberal
  Liberal (1950)
  Democratic (1954)
  Liberal Democratic
  Japan Renewal Party
  Japan New Party
  Liberal League
  Democratic

Foreign Minister Term of office Prime Minister
# Portrait Name Took Office Left Office Days
43 Shigeru Yoshida smiling2.jpg Shigeru Yoshida September 15, 1945 May 24, 1947 616 Prince Naruhiko Higashikuni
Kijūrō Shidehara
Shigeru Yoshida
- Tetsu Katayama.jpg Tetsu Katayama May 24, 1947 June 1, 1947 8 Tetsu Katayama
44 Hitoshi Ashida.jpg Hitoshi Ashida June 1, 1947 October 15, 1948 502
Hitoshi Ashida
(43) Shigeru Yoshida smiling2.jpg Shigeru Yoshida October 15, 1948 April 30, 1952 1293 Shigeru Yoshida
45 Katsuo Okazaki.jpg Katsuo Okazaki April 30, 1952 December 10, 1954 954
(40) Shigemitsu Mamoru.jpg Mamoru Shigemitsu December 10, 1954 November 22, 1955 744 Ichirō Hatoyama
November 22, 1955 December 23, 1956
- TANZAN ISHIBASHI.jpg Tanzan Ishibashi December 23, 1956 December 23, 1956 0 Tanzan Ishibashi
46 Nobusuke Kishi Dec 14, 1956.jpg Nobusuke Kishi December 23, 1956 July 10, 1957 199
Nobusuke Kishi
47 Aiichiro Fujiyama.jpg Aiichirō Fujiyama July 10, 1957 July 19, 1960 1105
48 Zentaro Kosaka.jpg Zentaro Kosaka July 19, 1960 July 18, 1962 729 Hayato Ikeda
49 Masayoshi Ohira at Andrews AFB 1 Jan 1980 cropped 1.jpg Masayoshi Ōhira July 18, 1962 July 18, 1964 731
50 Etsuzaburo Shiina.jpg Shiina Etsusaburo July 18, 1964 December 3, 1966 868
Eisaku Sato
51 Takeo Miki-2-1.jpg Takeo Miki December 3, 1966 October 29, 1968 696
- Eisaku Sato 1960.jpg Eisaku Sato October 29, 1968 November 30, 1968 32
52 Kiichi Aichi.jpg Kiichi Aichi November 30, 1968 July 9, 1971 951
53 Takeo Fukuda 1977.jpg Takeo Fukuda July 9, 1971 July 7, 1972 364
(49) Masayoshi Ohira at Andrews AFB 1 Jan 1980 cropped 1.jpg Masayoshi Ōhira July 7, 1972 July 16, 1974 739 Kakuei Tanaka
54 Toshio Kimura.jpg Toshio Kimura July 16, 1974 December 9, 1974 146
55 Kiichi.jpg Kiichi Miyazawa December 9, 1974 September 5, 1976 646 Takeo Miki
(48) Zentaro Kosaka.jpg Zentaro Kosaka September 5, 1976 December 24, 1976 100
56 Iichirō Hatoyama December 24, 1976 November 28, 1977 339 Takeo Fukuda
57 Sunao Sonoda, Jul. 1979 (3).jpg Sunao Sonoda November 28, 1977 November 8, 1979 710
Masayoshi Ōhira
58 Seal of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan.jpg Saburō Ōkita November 8, 1979 July 17, 1980 252
59 Masayoshi Ito.jpg Masayoshi Ito July 17, 1980 May 18, 1981 305 Zenkō Suzuki
(57) Sunao Sonoda, Jul. 1979 (3).jpg Sunao Sonoda May 18, 1981 November 30, 1981 196
60 Yoshio Sakurauchi 1982.jpg Yoshio Sakurauchi November 30, 1981 November 27, 1982 362
61 Shintarō Abe cropped.jpg Shintaro Abe November 27, 1982 July 22, 1986 1333 Yasuhiro Nakasone
62 Seal of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan.jpg Tadashi Kuranari July 22, 1986 November 6, 1987 472
63 Sosuke Uno 1977.png Sosuke Uno November 6, 1987 June 3, 1989 575 Noboru Takeshita
64 Seal of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan.jpg Hiroshi Mitsuzuka June 3, 1989 August 10, 1989 68 Sosuke Uno
65 Seal of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan.jpg Taro Nakayama August 10, 1989 November 5, 1991 817 Toshiki Kaifu
66 Michio Watanabe 1993.jpg Michio Watanabe November 5, 1991 April 7, 1993 519 Kiichi Miyazawa
67 Seal of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan.jpg Kabun Muto April 7, 1993 August 9, 1993 124
68 Tsutomu Hata cropped Tsutomu Hata 199404.jpg Tsutomu Hata August 9, 1993 April 28, 1994 262 Morihiro Hosokawa
69 Seal of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan.jpg Koji Kakizawa April 28, 1994 June 30, 1994 63 Tsutomu Hata
70 Yōhei Kōno cropped.jpg Yōhei Kōno June 30, 1994 January 11, 1996 560 Tomiichi Murayama
71 Seal of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan.jpg Yukihiko Ikeda January 11, 1996 September 11, 1997 609 Ryutaro Hashimoto
72 Keizo Obuchi cropped.jpg Keizo Obuchi September 11, 1997 July 30, 1998 322
73 Komura Masahiko 1-3.jpg Masahiko Kōmura July 30, 1998 October 5, 1999 432 Keizo Obuchi
(70) Yōhei Kōno cropped.jpg Yōhei Kōno October 5, 1999 April 26, 2001 569
Yoshiro Mori
74 Makiko Tanaka in Hawaii cropped.jpg Makiko Tanaka April 26, 2001 January 29, 2002 278 Junichiro Koizumi
75 Koizumi 2010 cropped.png Junichiro Koizumi January 29, 2002 February 1, 2002 3
76 Yoriko Kawaguchi cropped.jpg Yoriko Kawaguchi February 1, 2002 September 27, 2004 969
77 Machimura Nobutaka 1-2.jpg Nobutaka Machimura September 27, 2004 October 31, 2005 399
78 Taro Aso in World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos (cropped).jpg Tarō Asō October 31, 2005 August 27, 2007 665
Shinzō Abe
(77) Machimura Nobutaka 1-2.jpg Nobutaka Machimura August 27, 2007 September 26, 2007 30
(73) Komura Masahiko 1-3.jpg Masahiko Kōmura September 26, 2007 September 24, 2008 364 Yasuo Fukuda
79 Hirofumi Nakasone.jpg Hirofumi Nakasone September 24, 2008 September 16, 2009 357 Taro Aso
80 Katsuya Okada on March 29, 2010.jpg Katsuya Okada September 16, 2009 September 17, 2010 366 Yukio Hatoyama
Naoto Kan
81 Maehara Crop.jpg Seiji Maehara September 17, 2010 March 7, 2011 171
Edano Yukio 1-3.jpg Yukio Edano
(Acting)
March 7, 2011 March 9, 2011 2
82 Takeaki Matsumoto cropped 1 Takeaki Matsumoto and Hillary Rodham Clinton 20110429.jpg Takeaki Matsumoto March 9, 2011 September 2, 2011 177
83 Koichiro Gemba cropped 1 Hillary Rodham Clinton and Koichiro Gemba 20110919 1.jpg Kōichirō Genba September 2, 2011 December 26, 2012 481 Yoshihiko Noda
84 Fumio Kishida Minister.jpg Fumio Kishida December 26, 2012 August 3, 2017 1681 Shinzō Abe
85 Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono in Washington, D.C., August 17, 2017 (36465775972) (cropped).jpg Tarō Kōno August 3, 2017 Incumbent 18

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]