Home Ministry

Last updated
Home Ministry
内務省
Naimu-shō
Agency overview
FormedNovember 10, 1873 (1873-11-10)
DissolvedDecember 31, 1947 (1947-12-31)
Superseding agencies
JurisdictionFlag of Japan.svg  Japan
Headquarters Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Japan
Parent agency Empire of Japan
Home Ministry (Naimu-sho) offices, Tokyo, pre-1923 Home Ministry.jpg
Home Ministry (Naimu-shō) offices, Tokyo, pre-1923

The Home Ministry (内務省, Naimu-shō) was a Cabinet-level ministry established under the Meiji Constitution that managed the internal affairs of Empire of Japan from 1873 to 1947. Its duties included local administration, police, public works and elections, and monitoring people. This Ministry changed its name to Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications after Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers restoration in 1945.

Contents

History

Early Meiji period

After the Meiji Restoration, the leaders of the new Meiji government envisioned a highly centralized state to replace the old feudal order. Within months after Emperor Meiji's Charter Oath, the ancient ritsuryō structure from the late Heian period was revived in a modified form with an express focus on the separation of legislative, administrative, and judicial functions within a new Daijō-kan system. [1]

Having just returned from the Iwakura Mission in 1873, Ōkubo Toshimichi pushed forward a plan for the creation of an “Interior ministry” within the Daijō-kan modeled after similar ministries in European nations, headed by himself. The Home Ministry was established as government department in November 1873, [2] initially as an internal security agency to deal with possible threats to the government from increasingly disgruntled ex-samurai, and political unrest spawned by the Seikanron debate. In addition to controlling the police administration, the new department was also responsible for the Family register, civil engineering, topographic surveys, censorship, and promotion of agriculture. In 1874, administration of the post office was added to its responsibilities. In 1877, overview of religious institutes was added. The head of the Home Ministry was referred to as the "Home Lord" and effectively functioned as the Head of Government.

The Home Ministry also initially had the responsibility for promoting local industry, [3] but this duty was taken over by the Ministry of Agriculture and Commerce in 1881.

Under the Meiji Constitution

In 1885, with the establishment of the cabinet system, the Home Ministry was reorganized by Yamagata Aritomo, who became the first Home Minister. Bureaus were created with responsibilities for general administration, local administration, police, public works, public health, postal administration, topographic surveys, religious institutions and the national census. The administration of Hokkaidō and Karafuto Prefectures also fell under the direct jurisdiction of the Home Ministry, and all prefectural governors (who were appointed by the central government) came under the jurisdiction of the Home Ministry. In 1890, the Railroad Ministry and in 1892, the Communications Ministry were created, removing the postal administration functions from the Home Ministry.

On the other hand, with the establishment of State Shinto, a Department of Religious Affairs was added to the Home Ministry in 1900. Following the High Treason Incident, the Tokko special police force was also created in 1911. The Department of Religious Affairs was transferred to the Ministry of Education in 1913.

From the 1920s period, faced with the growing issues of agrarian unrest and Bolshevik-inspired labor unrest, the attention of the Home Ministry was increasingly focused on internal security issues. Through passage of the Peace Preservation Law#Public Security Preservation Law of 1925, the Home Ministry was able to use its security apparatus to suppress political dissent and the curtail the activities of the socialists, communists and the labor movement. The power of the Tokkō was expanded tremendously, and it expanded to include branches in every Japanese prefecture, major city, and overseas locations with a large Japanese population. In the late 1920s and 1930s, the Tokkō launched a sustained campaign to destroy the Japanese Communist Party with several waves of mass arrests of known members, sympathizers and suspected sympathizers (March 15 incident).

In 1936, an Information and Propaganda Committee was created within the Home Ministry, which issued all official press statements, and which worked together with the Publications Monitoring Department on censorship issues. In 1937, jointly with the Ministry of Education, the Home Ministry administered the National Spiritual Mobilization Movement, and the Home Ministry assisted in implementation of the National Mobilization Law in 1938 to place Japan on a total war footing. The public health functions of the Ministry were separated into the Ministry of Health in 1938.

In 1940, the Information and Propaganda Department (情報部, Jōhōbu) was elevated to the Information Bureau (情報局, Jōhōkyoku), which consolidated the previously separate information departments from the Imperial Japanese Army, Imperial Japanese Navy and Foreign Ministry under the aegis of the Home Ministry. The new Jōhōkyoku had complete control over all news, advertising and public events. [4] In February 1941 it distributed among editors a black list of writers whose articles they were advised not to print anymore. [5]

Also in 1940, with the formation of the Taisei Yokusankai political party, the Home Ministry strengthened its efforts to monitor and control political dissent, also through enforcement of the tonarigumi system, which was also used to coordinate civil defense activities through World War II. In 1942, the Ministry of Colonial Affairs was abolished, and the Home Ministry extended its influence to Japanese external territories.

Post-war Home Ministry and dissolution

After the surrender of Japan, the Home Ministry coordinated closely with the Allied occupation forces to maintain public order in occupied Japan.

One of the first actions of the post-war Home Ministry was the creation of an officially sanctioned brothel system under the aegis of the “Recreation and Amusement Association”, which was created on August 28, 1945. The intention was officially to contain the sexual urges of the occupation forces, protect the main Japanese populace from rape and preserve the "purity" of the "Japanese race". [6] However, by October 1945, the scope of activities of the Home Ministry was increasingly limited, with the disestablishment of State Shinto and the abolishment of the Tokkō, and with censorship and monitoring of labor union activities taken under direct American supervision. Many of the employees of the Home Ministry were purged from office.

The American authorities felt that the concentration of power into a single ministry was both a cause and a symptom of Japan's pre-war totalitarian mentality, and also felt that the centralization of police authority into a massive centrally controlled ministry was dangerous for the democratic development of post-war Japan.

The Home Ministry was formally abolished on 31 December 1947, and its functions dispersed to the Ministry of Home Affairs (自治省 Jiji-shō), now the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, Ministry of Health and Welfare (厚生省 Kōsei-shō), now the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, National Public Safety Commission (国家公安委員会 Kokka-kōan-iinkai), Ministry of Construction (建設省 Kensetsu-shō), now the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport. [7]

Lords of Home Affairs

NameDate in officeDate left office
1 Ōkubo Toshimichi 29 November 187314 February 1874
2 Kido Takayoshi 14 February 187427 April 1874
3Ōkubo Toshimichi27 April 18742 August 1874
4 Itō Hirobumi 2 August 187428 November 1874
5Ōkubo Toshimichi28 November 187414 May 1878
6Itō Hirobumi15 May 187828 February 1880
7 Matsukata Masayoshi 28 February 188021 October 1881
8 Yamada Akiyoshi 21 October 188112 December 1883
9 Yamagata Aritomo 12 December 188322 December 1885

Ministers of Home Affairs

NameCabinetDate in officeComments
1 Yamagata Aritomo 1st Itō 22 December 1885 
2Yamagata Aritomo Kuroda 30 April 1888 
3Yamagata Aritomo1st Yamagata 24 December 1889Concurrently Prime Minister
4 Saigō Tsugumichi 1st Yamagata17 May 1890 
5Saigō Tsugumichi1st Matsukata 6 May 1891 
6 Shinagawa Yajirō 1st Matsukata1 June 1891 
7 Soejima Taneomi 1st Matsukata11 March 1892 
8 Matsukata Masayoshi 1st Matsukata8 June 1892Concurrently Prime Minister & Finance Minister
9 Kōno Togama 1st Matsukata14 July 1892 
10 Inoue Kaoru 2nd Itō 8 August 1892 
11 Nomura Yasushi 2nd Itō 15 October 1894 
12 Yoshikawa Akimasa 2nd Itō 3 February 1896Concurrently Justice Minister
13 Itagaki Taisuke 2nd Itō 14 April 1896 
14Itagaki Taisuke2nd Matsukata 14 April 1896 
15 Kabayama Sukenori 2nd Matsukata20 September 1896 
16Yoshikawa Akimasa3rd Itō 12 January 1898 
17Itagaki Taisuke1st Ōkuma 30 June 1898 
18Saigō Tsugumichi2nd Yamagata 8 November 1898 
19 Suematsu Kenchō 4th Itō 19 October 1900 
20 Utsumi Tadakatsu 1st Katsura 2 June 1901 
21 Kodama Gentarō 1st Katsura15 July 1903Concurrently Minister of Education
22 Katsura Tarō 1st Katsura12 October 1903Concurrently Prime Minister
23Yoshikawa Akimasa1st Katsura20 February 1904 
24 Kiyoura Keigo 1st Katsura16 September 1905Concurrently Minister of Agriculture & Commerce
25 Hara Takashi 1st Saionji 7 January 1906Concurrently Minister of Communications
26 Hirata Tosuke 2nd Katsura 14 July 1908 
27Hara Takashi2nd Saionji 30 August 1911 
28 Ōura Kanetake 3rd Katsura 21 December 1912 
29Hara Takashi1st Yamamoto 20 February 1913 
30 Ōkuma Shigenobu 2nd Ōkuma 16 April 1914Concurrently Prime Minister
31Ōura Kanetake2nd Ōkuma7 January 1915 
32Ōkuma Shigenobu2nd Ōkuma30 July 1915Concurrently Prince Minister
33 Ichiki Kitokurō 2nd Ōkuma10 August 1915 
34 Gotō Shinpei Terauchi 9 October 1916 
35 Mizuno Rentarō Terauchi24 April 1918 
36 Tokonami Takejirō Hara 29 September 1918 
37Tokonami Takejirō Takahashi 13 November 1921 
38 Mizuno Rentarō Katō Tomosaburō 12 June 1922 
39Gotō Shinpei2nd Yamamoto 2 September 1923 
40Mizuno Rentarō Kiyoura 7 January 1924 
41 Wakatsuki Reijirō Katō Takaaki 11 June 1924 
42Wakatsuki Reijirō1st Wakatsuki 30 January 1926Concurrently Prime Minister
43 Osachi Hamaguchi 1st Wakatsuki3 June 1926 
44 Suzuki Kisaburō Tanaka 20 April 1927 
45 Tanaka Giichi Tanaka4 May 1928Concurrently Prime Minister
46 Mochizuki Keisuke Tanaka23 May 1928 
47 Adachi Kenzō Hamaguchi 2 July 1929 
48Adachi Kenzō2nd Wakatsuki 14 April 1931 
49 Nakahashi Tokugorō Inukai 13 December 1931 
50 Inukai Tsuyoshi Inukai16 March 1932Concurrently Prime Minister
51Suzuki KisaburōInukai25 March 1932 
52 Yamamoto Tatsuo Saitō 26 May 1932 
53 Fumio Gotō Okada 8 July 1934 
54 Shigenosuke Ushio Hirota 9 March 1936Concurrently Minister of Education
55 Kakichi Kawarada Hayashi 2 February 1937 
56 Eiichi Baba 1st Konoe 4 June 1937 
57 Nobumasa Suetsugu 1st Konoe14 December 1937 
58 Kōichi Kido Hiranuma 5 January 1939 
59 Naoshi Ohara Abe 30 August 1939Concurrently Minister of Health
60 Hideo Kodama Yonai 15 January 1940 
61 Ejii Yasui 2nd Konoe 22 July 1940 
62 Hiranuma Kiichirō 2nd Konoe21 December 1940 
63 Harumichi Tanabe 3rd Konoe18 July 1941 
64 Hideki Tōjō Tōjō 18 October 1941Concurrently Prime Minister, Minister of Munitions
65 Michio Yuzawa Tōjō17 February 1942 
66 Kisaburō Andō Tōjō20 April 1943 
67 Shigeo Ōdachi Koiso 22 July 1944 
68 Genki Abe Suzuki 7 April 1945 
69 Iwao Yamazaki Higashikuni 17 August 1945 
70 Zenjirō Horikiri Shidehara 9 October 1945 
71 Chūzō Mitsuji Shidehara13 January 1946 
72 Seiichi Ōmura 1st Yoshida 22 April 1946 
73 Etsujirō Uehara 1st Yoshida31 January 1947 
Tetsu Katayama Katayama 24 May 1947Acting; concurrently Prime Minister
74 Kozaemon Kimura Katayama1 June 1947Office abolished 31 December 1947

Notes

  1. Ozaki, p. 10.
  2. Beasley, The Rise of modern Japan, pp.66
  3. Samuels, Rich Nation Strong Army. pp.37
  4. Ben-Ami Shillony, Politics and Culture in Wartime Japan, 1999, p.94
  5. Ben-Ami Shillony, Politics and Culture in Wartime Japan, p.95
  6. Herbert Bix, Hirohito and the making of modern Japan , 2001, p. 538, citing Kinkabara Samon and Takemae Eiji, Showashi : kokumin non naka no haran to gekido no hanseiki-zohoban, 1989, p.244 .
  7. Beasley, The Rise of modern Japan, pp.229

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