Osachi Hamaguchi

Osachi Hamaguchi
Osachi Hamaguchi
濱口 雄幸
Prime Minister of Japan
In office
10 March 1931 – 14 April 1931
Monarch Shōwa
Preceded by Kijūrō Shidehara (Acting)
Succeeded by Wakatsuki Reijirō
In office
2 July 1929 – 14 November 1930
Monarch Shōwa
Preceded by Tanaka Giichi
Succeeded by Kijūrō Shidehara (Acting)
Personal details
Born 1 April 1870(1870-04-01)
Kōchi, Japan
Died 26 August 1931(1931-08-26) (aged 61)
Tokyo, Japan
Political party Constitutional Democratic Party (1927–1931)
Other political
affiliations
Constitutional Party (until 1927)
Spouse(s) Natsuko Hamaguchi
Alma mater Tokyo Imperial University

Osachi Hamaguchi (濱口 雄幸 Hamaguchi Osachi?, 1 April 1870 – 26 August 1931) was a Japanese politician and the 27th Prime Minister of Japan from 2 July 1929 to 14 April 1931. He was called the "Lion prime minister" (ライオン宰相) due to his physical features.

Contents

Early life

Hamaguchi was born in what is now Kōchi city, Kōchi Prefecture on the island of Shikoku; his father was an official in the forestry department. He graduated from the Law College of Tokyo Imperial University and began his career as a bureaucrat in the Ministry of Finance. In 1907, he became director of the Monopoly Bureau. He became Vice Communications Minister in 1912 and Vice Finance Minister in 1914.

Political career

Hamaguchi was elected to the lower house in the Japanese Diet in 1915, as a member of the Kenseikai political party. He later served as Finance Minister under the 1st and 2nd administrations of Katō Takaaki (1924, 1925) and as Home Minister under the cabinet of Wakatsuki Reijirō (1926).

In 1927, Hamaguchi became the chairman of the new Rikken Minseitō political party formed by the merger of the Kenseikai and the Seiyu Hontō.

Prime minister

After the collapse of the administration of Tanaka Giichi in 1929, Hamaguchi became Prime Minister of Japan and formed a cabinet based largely on Minseitō party members.

With a strong sense of his own rectitude and a tough, stubborn temperament, Hamaguchi inspired trust. Initial public confidence bolstered Hamaguchi's government and allowed him to successfully challenge the ascendant military radicals within Japan. However, his settlement of the London Naval Conference treaty of 1930, in which he tried to set the ratio of battle ships for the United States, Great Britain, and Japan at 10:10:7 but was forced to agree to a 10:10:6 ratio, led many right-wing politicians and conservatives to think that Hamaguchi had sold out on Japanese national security. This released a surge of Japanese nationalism and resulted in the end of Shidehara/Hamaguchi diplomacy (which supported peaceful economic expansion).

In his term of office, Hamaguchi attempted to strengthen the Japanese economy through fiscal austerity measures. Hamaguchi's fiscal policy, however, proved disastrous. The Hamaguchi government put Japanese yen on the gold standard to help stimulate exports, a measure that greatly worsened the impact of the worldwide Great Depression of 1929 on the already feeble economy. This failure of Hamaguchi's economic policies played into the hands of right-wing elements, already enraged by the government's conciliatory foreign policies and efforts to reduce military spending.

In 1931 Hamaguchi's cabinet sponsored a (watered-down) bill on women's suffrage. It would have granted women over the age of 25 the right to vote in local elections and stand for office given their husbands' approval. The bill passed the lower house, but it was defeated in the House of Peers in March 1931 by a vote of 184 to 62.[1]

Hamaguchi fell victim to an assassination attempt on 14 November 1930 when he was shot in Tōkyō Station by Tomeo Sagoya, a member of the Aikoku-sha ultranationalist secret society. (Nine years earlier another Prime Minister, Hara Takashi, had been assassinated near the same place.) The wounds kept Hamaguchi hospitalized for several months, but he struggled through physical weakness to win the February 1931 election. He returned to his post in March 1931 but resigned a month later to be replaced by Wakatsuki Reijirō.

Notes

  1. ^ Nolte, Sharon H. "Women's Rights and Society's Needs: Japan's 1931 Suffrage Bill," Comparative Studies in Society and History, October 1986, Vol. 28, No. 4, p. 690-714.

References

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Tanaka Giichi
Prime Minister of Japan
1929–1930
Succeeded by
Kijūrō Shidehara
Acting
Preceded by
Kijūrō Shidehara
Acting
Prime Minister of Japan
1931
Succeeded by
Wakatsuki Reijirō

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  • Hamaguchi Osachi — Osachi Hamaguchi Hamaguchi Osachi (jap. 濱口 雄幸, gelegentlich auch in der On Lesung Hamaguchi Yūkō; * 1. Mai 1870 in Kōchi, Provinz Tosa (heute: Präfektur Kōchi), Japan; † 26. August …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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  • Hamaguchi Osachi — ▪ prime minister of Japan also called  Hamaguchi Yuko   born May 1, 1870, Kōchi, Tosa province, Japan died Aug. 26, 1931, Tokyo       Japanese politician and prime minister (1929–30) at the outset of the Great Depression.       He was adopted… …   Universalium

  • Kijūrō Shidehara — In this Japanese name, the family name is Shidehara . Kijūrō Shidehara 幣原 喜重郎 Prime Minister of Japan In office 9 October 1945 – 22 May 1946 Monarch Shōwa …   Wikipedia

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