Ministry of Agriculture and Commerce

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Meiji-era picture postcard of the Ministry of Agriculture and Commerce HQ in Tokyo Ministry of Agriculture and Commerce - color PC.jpg
Meiji-era picture postcard of the Ministry of Agriculture and Commerce HQ in Tokyo

The Ministry of Agriculture and Commerce or Trade (農商務省, Nō-shōmu-shō) was a cabinet-level ministry in the government of the Empire of Japan from 1881-1925. [1] It was briefly recreated as the Ministry of Agriculture and Commerce (農商省, Nōshō-shō) during World War II

Contents

History

The original Ministry of Agriculture and Commerce was created on April 7, 1881, initially under the Meiji Daijō-kan Cabinet, and then re-established under the Meiji Constitution. It combined the Bureaus of Agriculture, Forestry, Natural History and post station maintenance which were formerly directly under the Prime Minister with the Bureau of Commerce formerly under the control of the Ministry of Finance. The new Ministry was tasked by the Meiji oligarchy with improving production of natural resources and promoting the rapid industrialization of Japan. Although nominally its duties included the protection of workers, in reality it served the needs of industry by guaranteeing a stable labor supply. [2] On December 25, 1885, with the abolishment of the Ministry of Industry, the Ministry of Agriculture and Commerce gained the Bureau of Mines and the Bureau of Civil Engineering. On April 1, 1896 a decision was made to denationalize the iron and steel industry. All government-owned steel mills were divested to private enterprise by February 5, 1901.

The Ministry was instrumental in passing the Japanese Factory Act of 1903, which reformed and regulated labor conditions in factories. On April 1, 1925, the Ministry of Agriculture and Commence was divided into the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry , and the Ministry of Commerce and Industry . The division was a result of long-standing acrimony within the ministry between the “commerce” portion of the ministry, which sought expanded overseas trade, and the protectionist “agriculture” portion of the ministry which sought to ban imports of food, especially rice. In the aftermath of the Rice Riots of 1918, expanded imports of rice into Japan financially ruined many farmers, and the inherently conflicting goals of the two halves of the ministry became apparent.

However, during World War II, the Ministry of Munitions, Ministry of Transport and Communications and the Planning Board absorbed most of the functions of the Ministry of Commerce, and the vestigial remains were merged with the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry to re-establish the Ministry of Agriculture and Commerce on November 1, 1943. In addition to promoting agriculture, the re-formed ministry was also in charge of distribution of rationed goods.

The Ministry was abolished on August 26, 1945, after the surrender of Japan by order of the Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers. In the post-war Showa Constitution, the ministries were again divided into the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry and Ministry of Commerce.

Ministers of Agriculture and Commerce (Meiji-Taisho)

NameCabinetFromTo
1 Tani Tateki 1st Itō 22 December 188526 July 1887
2 Hijikata Hisamoto 1st Itō 26 July 188717 September 1887
3 Kuroda Kiyotaka 1st Itō 17 September 188730 April 1888
4 Inoue Kaoru Kuroda 25 July 188823 December 1889
5 Iwamura Michitoshi 1st Yamagata 23 December 188917 May 1890
6 Mutsu Munemitsu 1st Yamagata
1st Matsukata
17 May 189014 March 1892
7 Kōno Togama 1st Matsukata 14 March 189214 July 1892
8 Sano Tsunetami 1st Matsukata 14 July 18928 August 1892
9 Gotō Shōjirō 2nd Itō 8 August 189222 January 1894
10 Enomoto Takeaki 2nd Itō
2nd Matsukata
22 January 189429 March 1897
11 Ōkuma Shigenobu 2nd Matsukata 29 March 18976 November 1897
12 Yamada Nobumichi 2nd Matsukata 6 November 189712 January 1898
13 Itō Miyoji 3rd Itō 12 January 189826 April 1898
14 Kaneko Kentarō 3rd Itō 26 April 189830 June 1898
15 Ōishi Masami 1st Ōkuma 30 June 18988 November 1898
16 Sone Arasuke 2nd Yamagata 8 November 189819 October 1900
17 Hayashi Yūzō 4th Itō 19 October 19002 June 1901
18 Hirata Tosuke 1st Katsura 2 June 190117 July 1903
19 Kiyoura Keigo 1st Katsura 17 July 190322 September 1903
20Kiyoura Keigo1st Katsura 22 September 19037 January 1906
21 Matsuoka Yasukowa 1st Saionji 7 January 190614 July 1908
22 Ōura Kanetake 2nd Katsura 14 July 190830 August 1911
23 Makino Nobuaki 2nd Saionji 30 August 191121 December 1912
24 Nakashōji Ren 3rd Katsura 21 December 191220 February 1913
25 Yamamoto Tatsuo 1st Yamamoto 20 February 191316 April 1914
26Ōura Kanetake2nd Ōkuma 16 April 19147 January 1915
27 Kōno Hironaka 2nd Ōkuma 7 January 19159 October 1916
28Nakashōji Ren Terauchi 9 October 191629 September 1918
29Yamamoto Tatsuo Hara
Takahashi
29 September 191812 June 1922
30 Arai Kentarō Katō 12 June 19222 September 1923
31 Den Kenjirō 2nd Yamamoto 2 September 192324 December 1923
32 Okano Keijirō 2nd Yamamoto 24 December 19237 January 1924
33 Maeda Toshisada Kiyoura 7 January 192411 June 1924
34 Takahashi Korekiyo Katō 11 June 19241 April 1925

Ministers of Agriculture and Commerce (World War II)

NameCabinetFromTo
1 Tatsunosuke Yamazaki Tōjō 1 November 194319 February 1944
2 Nobuya Uchida Tōjō 19 February 194422 July 1944
3 Toshio Shimada Koiso 22 July 19447 April 1945
4 Tadaatsu Ishiguro Suzuki 7 April 194517 August 1945
5 Sengoku Kotaro Higashikuni 17 August 194526 August 1945

See also

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References

  1. Campbell, Allen; Nobel, David S (1993). Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia. Kodansha. p. 1116. ISBN   406205938X.
  2. Harari. The politics of labor legislation in Japan. Page 41