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HQ building of the Imperial Japanese Army, Tokyo, from 1937-1945

The Army Ministry of Japan (陸軍省 Rikugunshō ?), more popularly known as the Ministry of War of Japan was the cabinet-level ministry from 1872-1945 in charge with administration of the Imperial Japanese Army (IJA).

Contents

History

The Army Ministry was created in April 1872, along with the Navy Ministry, to replace the Ministry of Military Affairs (Hyōbushō) of the early Meiji government 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 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 Diet of Japan and the cabinet and broad matters of military policy.

The post of Army Minister was politically powerful. Although a member of the Cabinet after the establishment of the cabinet system of government under the Meiji Constitution from 1885, the Army Minister was answerable directly to the Emperor of Japan and not to the Prime Minister of Japan.

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 Gonnohyoe, the law was revived again in 1936 at the insistence of the Army General Staff by Prime Minister Hirota Koki. The ability of the Army to refuse to nominate an Army Minister gave it effective veto power over the formation of any civilian administration, and was a key factor in the erosion of representative democracy and the rise of Japanese militarism.

The Ministry was abolished in December 1945 after the end of World War II during the American Occupation of Japan.

Organization

  • Under-Secretary of the Army (Vice Minister)
    • Military Affairs Bureau
    • Personnel Bureau
    • Weapons Bureau
    • Army Service Bureau
    • Administration Bureau
    • Intendance (Accounts and Supply)
    • Medical
    • Judicial Bureau
    • Economic Mobilization Bureau
    • Aeronautical Department
    • Economic Mobilization (abolished in April 1945)

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

Imperial Japanese Military
Empire of Japan
Administration
Imperial General Headquarters
Components
 Imperial Japanese Navy
(Dai Nippon Teikoku Kaigun)
        Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service
        Imperial Japanese Navy Land Forces
    Major battles
    List of ships
    List of aircraft
    Main admirals
 Imperial Japanese Army
(Dai Nippon Teikoku Rikugun)
        Imperial Japanese Army Air Service
        Railways and Shipping Section
    Uniforms
Rank insignia
Naval rank insignia
Army rank insignia
History of the Japanese Military
Military History of Japan during World War II

Ministers of Army of Japan

Dates Name
1 22 December 1885 17 May 1891 Oyama Iwao
2 17 May 1891 8 August 1892 Takashima Tomonosuke
3 8 August 1892 31 August 1896 Oyama Iwao
4 31 August 1896 18 September 1896 Saigō Tsugumichi
5 18 September 1896 20 September 1896 Oyama Iwao
6 20 September 1896 12 January 1898 Takashima Tomonosuke
7 12 January 1898 23 December 1900 Katsura Tarō
8 23 December 1900 27 March 1902 Kodama Gentarō
9 27 March 1902 30 August 1911 Terauchi Masatake
10 30 August 1911 2 April 1912 Ishimoto Shinroku
11 5 April 1912 21 December 1912 Uehara Yūsaku
12 21 December 1912 24 June 1913 Kigoshi Yasutsuna
13 24 June 1913 16 April 1914 Kusunose Yukihiko
14 16 April 1914 30 March 1916 Oka Ichinosuke
15 30 March 1916 29 September 1918 Oshima Ken'ichi
16 29 September 1918 9 June 1921 Tanaka Giichi
17 9 June 1921 24 August 1923 Yamanashi Hanzō
18 24 August 1923 2 September 1923 Tanaka Giichi
19 2 September 1923 20 April 1927 Ugaki Kazushige
20 20 April 1927 2 July 1929 Shirakawa Yoshinori
21 2 July 1929 14 April 1931 Ugaki Kazushige
22 14 April 1931 13 December 1931 Minami Jirō
23 13 December 1931 23 January 1934 Araki Sadao
24 23 January 1934 5 September 1935 Hayashi Senjūrō
25 5 September 1935 9 March 1936 Kawashima Yoshiyuki
26 9 March 1936 2 February 1937 Terauchi Hisaichi
27 2 February 1937 9 February 1937 Nakamura Kōtarō
28 9 February 1937 3 June 1938 Sugiyama Hajime
29 3 June 1938 30 August 1939 Itagaki Seishirō
30 30 August 1939 22 July 1940 Hata Shunroku
31 22 July 1940 22 July 1944 Tojo Hideki
32 22 July 1944 7 April 1945 Sugiyama Hajime
33 7 April 1945 14 August 1945 Anami Korechika
34 17 August 1945 23 August 1945 Higashikuni Naruhiko
35 23 August 1945 1 December 1945 Shimomura Sadamu

References

  • Edgerton, Robert B. (1999). Warriors of the Rising Sun: A History of the Japanese Military. Westview Press. ISBN 0813336007.  
  • Harries, Meirion (1994). Soldiers of the Sun: The Rise and Fall of the Imperial Japanese Army. Random House. ISBN 0679753036.  
  • "Foreign Office Files for Japan and the Far East". Adam Matthew Publications. Accessed 2 March 2005.
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