Ministry of Communications (Japan)

Last updated
Ministry of Communications
Agency overview
FormedDecember 22, 1885 (1885-12-22)
DissolvedApril 1, 1949 (1949-04-01)
Superseding agencies
JurisdictionFlag of Japan.svg  Japan
Headquarters Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Japan
Parent agency Government of Japan
Communications Ministry (Teishin-sho) offices, Tokyo, pre-1923 Ministry of Communications HQ Tokyo.jpg
Communications Ministry (Teishin-shō) offices, Tokyo, pre-1923

The Ministry of Communications (逓信省, Teishin-shō) was a Cabinet-level ministry in the Empire of Japan. Its modern successors include the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, Japan Post and Nippon Telegraph and Telephone



Meiji period

On December 22, 1885 the Ministry of Communications was established, combining the Bureau of Posts and Post Station Maintenance and Shipping Bureau formerly under the Ministry of Agriculture and Commerce with the Telegraph Bureau and Lighthouse Management Bureau formerly under the Ministry of Industry. On August 16, 1891, the ministry was also placed in charge of the nascent Japanese electric power industry. On July 21, 1892, the Railway Bureau was transferred to the Ministry of Communications from the Home Ministry and from November 10, 1893, the ministry was charged with the supervision of all land and water transportation businesses.

However, on December 5, 1908, the Railway Bureau was separated to become an independent bureau reporting directly to the Cabinet.

Showa period

In April 1923, responsibility for civil aviation supervision was transferred to the Ministry of Communications from the Army Ministry. With the creation of the Railway Ministry in May 1928, supervision of all land transportation was removed from the Ministry of Communications. With the establishment in January 1938 of the Ministry of Health and Welfare, all matters pertaining to the postal insurance program were transferred to the new ministry, with the Ministry of Communications retaining control of the post offices and managing the postal system (including the Postal savings system. In December 1941, an external Maritime Affairs Council was established and took over the Lighthouse Bureau.

On November 1, 1943 the Ministry of Communications was merged with Railway Ministry to become the Ministry of Communications and Transport. Electrical production and aircraft manufacturing regulation was transferred to the Ministry of Munitions. Posts, telephone and telegraph, post office bank and insurance came under the Communications Institute, where issues relating the transportation came under the Directorate General of Shipping.

In May 1945, the Communications Institute became the Board of Communications, reporting directly to the Cabinet, and the Ministry of Communications and Transport was renamed the Ministry of Transport.

Post-war dissolution

After the surrender of Japan, the American occupation authorities briefly reestablished the Ministry of Communications on April 1, 1946; however it was in charge of only posts, telecommunications and the security of aerial navigation. The Ministry was formally abolished on April 1, 1949 and its responsibilities divided between the new Ministry of Postal Services and Ministry of Telecommunications.

Ministers of Communications

NameCabinetDate in officecomments
1 Enomoto Takeaki 1st Itō, Kuroda 22 December 1885concurrently Agriculture & Commerce
2 Gotō Shōjirō Kuroda, 1st Yamagata, 1st Matsukata 30 April 1888 
3 Kuroda Kiyotaka 2nd Itō8 August 1892
4 Watanabe Kunitake 2nd Itō17 March 1895concurrently Finance Minister
5 Shirane Senichi 2nd Itō, 2nd Matsukata9 October 1895 
6 Nomura Yasushi 2nd Matsukata26 September 1898 
7 Suematsu Kenchō 3rd Itō12 January 1898 
8 Hayashi Yūzō Ōkuma 30 June 1898 
9 Yoshikawa Akimasa 2nd Yamagata8 November 1898 
10 Hoshi Tōru 4th Itō19 October 1900 
11 Hara Takashi 4th Itō22 December 1900 
12Yoshikawa Akimasa1st Katsura 2 June 1901 
13 Sone Arasuke 1st Katsura17 July 1903concurrently Finance Minister
14 Ōura Kanetake 1st Katsura12 September 1903 
15 Yamagata Isaburō 1st Saionji 7 July 1906 
16Hara Takashi1st Saionji14 January 1908concurrently Home Minister
17 Hotta Masayasu 1st Saionji25 March 1908 
18 Gotō Shinpei 2nd Katsura14 July 1908 
19 Hayashi Tadasu 2nd Katsura30 August 1911concurrently Home Minister
20Gotō Shinpei3rd Katsura21 December 1912 
21 Motoda Hajime 1st Yamamoto 20 February 1913 
22 Taketomi Tokitoshi 2nd Ōkuma 16 April 1914 
23 Minoura Katsundo 2nd Ōkuma10 August 1915 
24 Den Kenjirō Terauchi 9 October 1916 
25 Noda Utarō Hara, Takahashi 29 September 1918 
26 Maeda Toshisada Katō Tomosaburō 12 June 1922 
27 Inukai Tsuyoshi 2nd Yamamoto 2 September 1923concurrently Education Minister
28 Yoshirō Fujimura Kiyoura 7 January 1924 
29Inukai Tsuyoshi Katō Takaaki 11 June 1924 
30 Adachi Kenzō Katō Takaaki, 1st Wakatsuki 30 May 1925 
31 Mochizuki Keisuke Tanaka 20 April 1927 
32 Fusanosuke Kuhara Tanaka 23 May 1928 
33 Matajirō Koizumi Hamaguchi, 2nd Wakatsuki2 July 1929 
34 Chūzō Mitsuji Inukai 13 December 1931 
35 Hiroshi Minami Saitō 26 May 1932 
36 Tokonami Takejirō Okada 8 July 1934 
37 Keisuke Okada Okada9 September 1935concurrently Prime Minister
38Mochizuki KeisukeOkada12 September 1935 
39 Tanomogi Keikichi Hirota 9 March 1936 
40 Tatsunosuke Yamazaki Hayashi 2 February 1937concurrently Agriculture & Forestry Minister
41 Hideo Kodama Hayashi10 February 1937 
42 Ryūtarō Nagai 1st Konoe 4 June 1937 
43 Suehiko Shiono Hiranuma 5 January 1939concurrently Justice Minister
44 Harumichi Tanabe Hiranuma7 April 1939 
45Ryūtarō Nagai Abe 30 August 1939concurrently Railway Minister
46 Masanori Katsu Yonai 16 January 1940 
47 Shōzō Murata 2nd Konoe, 3rd Konoe22 July 1940 
48 Ken Terajima Tōjō 18 October 1941 
49 Yoshiaki Hatta Tōjō8 October 1943concurrently Railway Minister

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