Ministry of the Army

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HQ building of the Imperial Japanese Army, Tokyo, from 1937-1945 Japanese Army HQ Ichigaya.jpg
HQ building of the Imperial Japanese Army, Tokyo, from 1937–1945

The Army Ministry(陸軍省,Rikugun-shō), also known as the Ministry of War, was the cabinet-level ministry in the Empire of Japan charged with the administrative affairs of the Imperial Japanese Army (IJA). It existed from 1872 to 1945.

Cabinet (government) group of high ranking officials, usually representing the executive branch of government

A Cabinet is a body of high-ranking state officials, typically consisting of the top leaders of the executive branch. Members of a cabinet are usually called Cabinet ministers or secretaries. The function of a Cabinet varies: in some countries it is a collegiate decision-making body with collective responsibility, while in others it may function either as a purely advisory body or an assisting institution to a decision making head of state or head of government. Cabinets are typically the body responsible for the day-to-day management of the government and response to sudden events, whereas the legislative and judicial branches work in a measured pace, in sessions according to lengthy procedures.

Empire of Japan Empire in the Asia-Pacific region between 1868–1947

The Empire of Japan was the historical nation-state and great power that existed from the Meiji Restoration in 1868 to the enactment of the 1947 constitution of modern Japan.

Imperial Japanese Army Official ground-based armed force of the Empire of Japan, from 1868 to 1945

The Imperial Japanese Army was the official ground-based armed force of the Empire of Japan from 1868 to 1945. It was controlled by the Imperial Japanese Army General Staff Office and the Ministry of the Army, both of which were nominally subordinate to the Emperor of Japan as supreme commander of the army and the navy. Later an Inspectorate General of Aviation became the third agency with oversight of the army. During wartime or national emergencies, the nominal command functions of the emperor would be centralized in an Imperial General Headquarters (IGHQ), an ad-hoc body consisting of the chief and vice chief of the Army General Staff, the Minister of the Army, the chief and vice chief of the Naval General Staff, the Inspector General of Aviation, and the Inspector General of Military Training.

Contents

History

The Army Ministry was created in April 1872, along with the Navy Ministry, to replace the Ministry of War (兵部省,Hyōbushō) of the early Meiji government.

Ministry of War (pre-modern Japan)

The Ministry of War, sometimes called Tsuwamono no Tsukasa, was a division of the eighth century Japanese government of the Imperial Court in Kyoto, instituted in the Asuka period and formalized during the Heian period. The Ministry was replaced in the Meiji period.

The Government of Meiji Japan was the government that was formed by politicians of the Satsuma Domain and Chōshū Domain in the 1860s. The Meiji government was the early government of the Empire of Japan.

Initially, the Army Ministry was in charge of both administration and operational command of the Imperial Japanese Army. However, with the creation of the Imperial Japanese Army General Staff Office in December 1878, it was left with only administrative functions. Its primary role was to secure the army budget, weapons procurement, personnel, relations with the National Diet and the Cabinet and broad matters of military policy.

Imperial Japanese Army General Staff Office

The Imperial Japanese Army General Staff Office, also called the Army General Staff, was one of the two principal agencies charged with overseeing the Imperial Japanese Army.

The Cabinet of Japan is the executive branch of the government of Japan. It consists of the Prime Minister, who is appointed by the Emperor after being designated by the National Diet, and up to nineteen other members, called Ministers of State. The Prime Minister is designated by the Diet, and the remaining ministers are appointed and dismissed by the Prime Minister. The Cabinet is collectively responsible to the Diet and must resign if a motion of no confidence is adopted by the Diet.

The post of Army Minister was politically powerful. Although a member of the Cabinet after the establishment of the cabinet system of government in 1885, the Army Minister was answerable directly to the Emperor (the commander-in-chief of all Japanese armed forces under the Meiji Constitution) and not the Prime Minister.

Emperor of Japan Monarch in Japan

The Emperor of Japan is the head of the Imperial Family and the head of state of Japan. Under the 1947 constitution, he is defined as "the symbol of the State and of the unity of the people." Historically, he was also the highest authority of the Shinto religion. In Japanese, the Emperor is called Tennō (天皇), literally "heavenly sovereign". In English, the use of the term Mikado for the Emperor was once common, but is now considered obsolete.

The Constitution of the Empire of Japan, known informally as the Meiji Constitution, was the constitution of the Empire of Japan which had the proclamation on February 11, 1889, and had enacted since November 29, 1890 until May 2, 1947. Enacted after the Meiji Restoration in 1868, it provided for a form of mixed constitutional and absolute monarchy, based jointly on the Prussian and British models. In theory, the Emperor of Japan was the supreme leader, and the Cabinet, whose Prime Minister would be elected by a Privy Council, were his followers; in practice, the Emperor was head of state but the Prime Minister was the actual head of government. Under the Meiji Constitution, the Prime Minister and his Cabinet were not necessarily chosen from the elected members of the group.

Prime Minister of Japan Head of government of Japan

The Prime Minister of Japan is the head of government of Japan. The Prime Minister is appointed by the Emperor of Japan after being designated by the National Diet and must enjoy the confidence of the House of Representatives to remain in office. He is the chairman of the Cabinet and appoints and dismisses the other Ministers of State. The literal translation of the Japanese name for the office is Minister for the Comprehensive Administration of the Cabinet.

From the time of its creation, the post of Army Minister was usually filled by an active-duty general in the Imperial Japanese Army. This practice was made into law under the "Military Ministers to be Active-Duty Officers Law"(軍部大臣現役武官制,Gumbu daijin gen'eki bukan sei) in 1900 by Prime Minister Yamagata Aritomo to curb the influence of political parties into military affairs. Abolished in 1913 under the administration of Yamamoto Gonnohyōe, the law was revived again in 1936 at the insistence of the Army General Staff by Prime Minister Hirota Kōki. At the same time, the Imperial Japanese Army prohibited its generals from accepting political offices except by permission from Imperial General Headquarters. Taken together, these arrangements gave the Imperial Japanese Army an effective, legal right to nominate (or refuse to nominate) the Army Minister. The ability of the Imperial Japanese Army to refuse to nominate an Army Minister gave it effective veto power over the formation (or continuation) of any civilian administration, and was a key factor in the erosion of representative democracy and the rise of Japanese militarism.

Yamagata Aritomo Prime Minister of Japan

Prince Yamagata Aritomo, also known as Yamagata Kyōsuke, was a Japanese field marshal in the Imperial Japanese Army and twice Prime Minister of Japan. He was one of the main architects of the military and political foundations of early modern Japan. Yamagata Aritomo can be seen as the father of Japanese militarism.

A political party is an organized group of people, often with common views, who come together to contest elections and hold power in the government. The party agrees on some proposed policies and programmes, with a view to promoting the collective good or furthering their supporters' interests.

Yamamoto Gonnohyōe Prime Minister of Japan

Admiral Count Yamamoto Gonbee, GCMG, also called Gonnohyōe, was an admiral in the Imperial Japanese Navy and the 16th and 22nd Prime Minister of Japan.

After 1937, both the Army Minister and the Chief of the Army General Staff were members of the Imperial General Headquarters.

Imperial General Headquarters

The Imperial General Headquarters was part of the Supreme War Council and was established in 1893 to coordinate efforts between the Imperial Japanese Army and Imperial Japanese Navy during wartime. In terms of function, it was approximately equivalent to the United States Joint Chiefs of Staff and the British Chiefs of Staff Committee.

With the surrender of the Empire of Japan in World War II, the Army Ministry was abolished together with the Imperial Japanese Army by the Allied occupation authorities in November 1945 and was not revived in the post-war Constitution of Japan.

Organization

The Army Ministry and Imperial General Headquarters were located in Ichigaya Heights, which is now part of Shinjuku, Tokyo.

Ministers of the Army of Japan

No.PortraitNameTerm of OfficeCabinet
1 Iwao Oyama 2.jpg Ōyama Iwao
大山 巌
22 December
1885
17 May
1891
1st Itō
Kuroda
1st Yamagata
1st Matsukata
2 Takashima Tomonosuke.jpg Takashima Tomonosuke
高島 鞆之助
17 May
1891
8 August
1892
3 Iwao Oyama 2.jpg Ōyama Iwao
大山 巌
8 August
1892
20 September
1896
2nd Itō
2nd Matsukata
4 Takashima Tomonosuke.jpg Takashima Tomonosuke
高島 鞆之助
20 September
1896
12 January
1898
5 11 KatsuraT.jpg Katsura Tarō
桂 太郎
12 January
1898
23 December
1900
3rd Itō
1st Ōkuma
2nd Yamagata
4th Itō
6 Gentaro Kodama 2.jpg Kodama Gentarō
兒玉 源太郎
23 December
1900
27 March
1902
1st Katsura
7 Masatake Terauchi 2.jpg Terauchi Masatake
寺内 正毅
27 March
1902
30 August
1911
1st Saionji
2nd Katsura
8 Ishimoto Shinroku.jpg Ishimoto Shinroku
石本 新六
30 August
1911
2 April
1912
2nd Saionji
9 Uehara Yusaku.jpg Uehara Yūsaku
上原 勇作
5 April
1912
21 December
1912
10 Kigoshi Yasutsuna.jpg Kigoshi Yasutsuna
木越 安綱
21 December
1912
24 June
1913
3rd Katsura
1st Yamamoto
11 Kusunose Yukihiko ca.1913.jpg Kusunose Yukihiko
楠瀬 幸彦
24 June
1913
16 April
1914
12 Gen. Oka Ichinosuke.jpg Oka Ichinosuke
岡 市之助
16 April
1914
30 March
1916
2nd Ōkuma
13 Oshima Ken'ichi in 1917.jpg Ōshima Ken'ichi
大島 健一
30 March
1916
29 September
1918
Terauchi
14 Tanaka Giichi.jpg Tanaka Giichi
田中 義一
29 September
1918
9 June
1921
Hara
15 Yamanashi Hanzo.jpg Yamanashi Hanzō
山梨 半造
9 June
1921
2 September
1923
Takahashi
Katō
16 Tanaka Giichi.jpg Tanaka Giichi
田中 義一
2 September
1923
7 January
1924
2nd Yamamoto
17 Kazushige Ugaki 2.jpg Kazushige Ugaki
宇垣 一成
7 January
1924
20 April
1927
Kiyoura
Katō
1st Wakatsuki
18 Yoshinori Shirakawa.jpg Yoshinori Shirakawa
白川 義則
20 April
1927
2 July
1929
1st Tanaka
19 Kazushige Ugaki 2.jpg Kazushige Ugaki
宇垣 一成
2 July
1929
14 April
1931
Hamaguchi
20 Minami Jiro 1931.jpg Jirō Minami
南 次郎
14 April
1931
13 December
1931
2nd Wakatsuki
21 Araki Sadao.jpg Sadao Araki
荒木 貞夫
13 December
1931
23 January
1934
Inukai
Saitō
22 33 HayashiS.jpg Senjūrō Hayashi
林 銑十郎
23 January
1934
5 September
1935
Okada
23 Kawashima Yoshiyuki2.JPG Yoshiyuki Kawashima
川島 義之
5 September
1935
9 March
1936
24 Hisaichi Terauchi.jpg Hisaichi Terauchi
寺内 寿一
9 March
1936
2 February
1937
Hirota
25 Kotaro Nakamura.jpg Kōtarō Nakamura
中村 孝太郎
2 February
1937
9 February
1937
Hayashi
26 Sugiyama Hajime1.jpg Hajime Sugiyama
杉山 元
9 February
1937
3 June
1938
1st Konoe
27 Seishiro Itagaki.jpg Seishirō Itagaki
板垣 征四郎
3 June
1938
30 August
1939
1st Hiranuma
28 Hata Syunroku3.jpg Shunroku Hata
畑 俊六
30 August
1939
22 July
1940
Abe
Yonai
29 Hideki Tojo2 (cropped).jpg Hideki Tojo
東條 英機
22 July
1940
22 July
1944
2nd Konoe
3rd Konoe
Tojo
30 Sugiyama Hajime1.jpg Hajime Sugiyama
杉山 元
22 July
1944
7 April
1945
Koiso
31 AnamiKorechika.jpg Korechika Anami
阿南 惟幾
7 April
1945
14 August
1945
Suzuki
32 General Prince Higashikuni Naruhiko.jpg Prince Naruhiko Higashikuni
東久邇宮稔彦王
17 August
1945
23 August
1945
Higashikuni
33 Shimomura Sadamu.jpg
Sadamu Shimomura

下村 定
23 August
1945
1 December
1945
Shidehara

See also

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