- Wakatsuki Reijirō
name = Wakatsuki Reijirō
caption = Prime Minister of Japan
birth_date = birth date|1866|3|21|df=y
Matsue, Shimane, Izumo, Japan
20 November 1949(age 83)
death_place = Tokyō,
office = 25th
Prime Minister of Japan
28 January 1926
20 April 1927
30 January 1926
office2 = 28th
Prime Minister of Japan
14 April 1931
13 December 1931
Emperor Taishō Emperor Shōwa
Rikken Dōshikai Kenseikai
occupation = Cabinet Minister
nihongo| Wakatsuki Reijirō, 1st Baron Wakatsuki |若槻 礼次郎| Wakatsuki Reijirō, (
21 March, 1866– 20 November, 1949) was a Japanese politician and the 25th and 28th Prime Minister of Japan. Opposition politicians of the time derogatorily labeled him "Usotsuki Reijirō", or "Reijirō the Liar". The official representation of his name in Chinese characters is 禮次郎.
Wakatsuki was born in
Matsue, Izumo Province, (present day Shimane Prefecture). His father was named Okumura, a samuraiwho served the local Matsudairadaimyō. Later Wakatsuki married a woman of the Wakatsuki family who adopted him since the family had no male heir. He enrolled in the Tokyō Imperial University in 1892 and studied law.
After graduation, he worked in the Ministry of Finance as tax bureau director and later as vice-minister.
In 1911 he was appointed a senator in the
House of Peers. He then served as the Minister of Justice under the 3rd Katsura administration and 2nd Ōkuma administration in the early 1910s and became a leading member of the Rikken Dōshikai, and of its successor the Kenseikai, in 1914.
In 1924, he was Home Minister in the cabinet of
Kato Takaaki, and worked to enact the Universal Manhood Suffrage Law and the Peace Preservation Law in 1925.
As Prime Minister
30 January 1926, on Kato's unexpected death in office, he took over as Prime Minister of Japan. His first term lasted to 20 April 1927when he was forced to resign during the Shōwa financial crisis.
After serving as chief delegate plenipotentiary to the
London Naval Conference, he pushed strongly for speedy ratification of the disarmament treaty, thus earning the wrath of the Japanese military and various ultranationalistgroups.
After Prime Minister Hamaguchi was forced out of office by the severe injuries he incurred in an assassination attempt, Wakatsuki assumed the leadership of the Rikken Minseitō, the successor to the
Kenseikai. He once again became Prime Minister from 14 April 1931to 13 December 1931.
During Wakatsuki’s second term, he failed to control the Army, and was unable either to prevent the
Manchurian Incidentfrom occurring, or to rein in the Army from further escalation of hostilities in Chinaafterwards. After his retirement from the Prime Ministry, he strongly opposed the war against the United States, and after the declaration of hostilities, publicly stated the war should end as quickly as possible.
History of Japan
* Bix, Herbert B. "Hirohito and the Making of Modern Japan". Harper Perennial (2001). ISBN 0060931302
*Brendon, Piers. "The Dark Valley: A Panorama of the 1930s". Vintage; Reprint edition (2002). ISBN 0375708081
* Jansen, Marius B. "The Making of Modern Japan". Belknap Press; New Ed edition (2002). ISBN 067400991
* Tolland, John. "The Rising Sun: The Decline and Fall of the Japanese Empire, 1936-1945". Modern Library; Reprint edition (2003). ISBN 0812968581
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