Navy Ministry building, Tokyo, circa 1890
|Jurisdiction||Imperial Japanese Navy|
The Navy Ministry (海軍省, Kaigun-shō) was a cabinet-level ministry in the Empire of Japan charged with the administrative affairs of the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN). It existed from 1872 to 1945.
The Navy Ministry was created in April 1872, along with the Army Ministry, to replace the Ministry of War (兵部省, Hyōbushō) of the early Meiji government.
Initially, the Navy Ministry was in charge of both administration and operational command of the Imperial Japanese Navy. However, with the creation of the Imperial Japanese Navy General Staff in May 1893, it was left with only administrative functions.
"The ministry was responsible for the naval budget, ship construction, weapons procurement, personnel, relations with the Diet and the cabinet and broad matters of naval policy. The General Staff directed the operations of the fleet and the preparation of war plans".The post of Navy Minister was politically powerful. Although a member of the Cabinet after the establishment of the cabinet system of government in 1885, the Navy 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.
Up until the 1920s, the Navy Ministry held the upper hand over the Navy General Staff in terms of political influence. However, the officers of the Navy General Staff found an opportunity at the Washington Naval Conference in 1921–22 to improve their situation. At this meeting, the United States and Britain wanted to establish a worldwide naval ratio, asking the Japanese to limit themselves to a smaller navy than the Western powers. The Naval Ministry was willing to agree to this, seeking to maintain the Anglo-Japanese Alliance, but the Navy General Staff refused. The Imperial Japanese Navy became divided into mutually hostile Fleet Faction and Treaty Faction political cliques. Ultimately, the treaty was signed by Japan, but terminated in 1934. Through the 1930s, with increasing Japanese militarism, the Fleet Faction gradually gained ascendancy over the Treaty Faction and came to dominate the Navy General Staff, which pushed through the attack on Pearl Harbor against the resistance of the Navy Ministry.
After 1937, both the Navy Minister and the Chief of the Navy General Staff were members of the Imperial General Headquarters.
With the defeat of the Empire of Japan in World War II, the Navy Ministry was abolished together with the Imperial Japanese Navy by the American occupation authorities in November 1945 and was not revived in the post-war Constitution of Japan.
By law, Navy Ministers had to be appointed from active duty admirals or vice-admirals.
|No.||Portrait||Name||Term of Office||Cabinet|
|1|| Saigō Jūdō |
|2|| Kabayama Sukenori |
|3|| Nire Kagenori |
|4|| Saigō Jūdō |
|5|| Yamamoto Gonnohyōe |
|6|| Saitō Makoto |
|7|| Yashiro Rokurō |
|8|| Katō Tomosaburō |
|9|| Takarabe Takeshi |
|10|| Murakami Kakuichi |
|11|| Takarabe Takeshi |
|12|| Keisuke Okada |
|13|| Takarabe Takeshi |
|14|| Kiyokazu Abo |
|15|| Mineo Ōsumi |
|16|| Osami Nagano |
|17|| Mitsumasa Yonai |
|18|| Zengo Yoshida |
|19|| Koshirō Oikawa |
|20|| Shigetarō Shimada |
|21|| Naokuni Nomura |
|22|| Yonai Mitsumasa |
Mitsumasa Yonai was an admiral in the Imperial Japanese Navy, Minister of the Navy, and served as the Prime Minister of Japan in 1940.
Osami Nagano was a Marshal Admiral of the Japanese navy and one of the leaders of Japan's military during most of the Second World War. In April 1941, he became Chief of the Imperial Japanese Navy General Staff. In this capacity, he served as the navy's commander-in-chief in the Asia-Pacific theater until his removal in February 1944. After the war, he was arrested by the International Military Tribunal for the Far East but died of natural causes in prison during the trial.
The Army Ministry, 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.
The Imperial Japanese Navy General Staff was the highest organ within the Imperial Japanese Navy. In charge of planning and operations, it was headed by an Admiral headquartered in Tokyo.
Japanese militarism refers to the ideology in the Empire of Japan that militarism should dominate the political and social life of the nation, and that the strength of the military is equal to the strength of a nation.
The Fleet Faction was an unofficial and informal political faction within the Imperial Japanese Navy in the 1920s and 1930s of officers opposed to the conditions imposed by the Washington Naval Treaty.
The Treaty Faction was an unofficial and informal political faction within the Imperial Japanese Navy in the 1920s-1930s of officers supporting the Washington Naval Treaty.
Military Factions is a Japanese term having two separate meanings. Its first meaning is a reference to the Japanese military leadership which exploited its privileged status to vie against the civilian government for control over the nation's policies. It also refers to competing political factions or cliques within the Japanese military itself. The term came into common use in the Taishō period (1912-1926).
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.
Baron Mineo Ōsumi was an admiral in the Imperial Japanese Navy and served twice as Minister of the Navy of Japan during the volatile 1930s.
Koshirō Oikawa was an admiral in the Imperial Japanese Navy and Naval Minister during World War II.
Zengo Yoshida was an admiral in the Imperial Japanese Navy.
BaronKiyokazu Abo was an admiral in the Imperial Japanese Navy, who served as Navy Minister in the early 1930s.
Takarabe Takeshi was an admiral in the Imperial Japanese Navy, and served as Navy Minister in the 1920s. He was also the son-in-law of Yamamoto Gonnohyōe.
Viscount Ogasawara Naganari was an Admiral and naval strategist in the Imperial Japanese Navy in Meiji and Taishō period Japan, and a member of the Imperial Japanese Navy General Staff. He was also known as Ogasawara Chōsei, Ogasawara Nagayo.
Sankichi Takahashi was an Admiral of the Imperial Japanese Navy. After the Washington Naval Treaty of 1922 Takahashi, an important figure of the IJN's Fleet Faction, made a swift career, from commander of an obsolete cruiser in 1923 to commander of the Combined Fleet in 1934. He was instrumental in crushing the opposing moderate Treaty Faction but soon lost his command in another round of political turmoil.
Seizō Sakonji was an admiral in the Imperial Japanese Navy, and cabinet minister in the wartime government of the Empire of Japan.
Nobumasa Suetsugu was an admiral in the Imperial Japanese Navy, and briefly served as Home Minister in the 1940s.
Teikichi Hori was an admiral in the Imperial Japanese Navy during the early twentieth century. During the interwar period, Hori was a prominent member of the Treaty Faction of the Navy, and opposed war against the United States and the United Kingdom. Hori was a close friend and mentor of Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto.