Keisuke Okada


Keisuke Okada
Keisuke Okada
岡田 啓介
Prime Minister of Japan
In office
29 February 1936 – 9 March 1936
Monarch Shōwa
Preceded by Fumio Gotō (Acting)
Succeeded by Kōki Hirota
In office
8 July 1934 – 26 February 1936
Monarch Shōwa
Preceded by Makoto Saitō
Succeeded by Fumio Gotō (Acting)
Personal details
Born 20 January 1868(1868-01-20)
Fukui, Japan
Died 7 October 1952(1952-10-07) (aged 84)
Political party Independent
Alma mater Imperial Japanese Naval Academy
Profession Admiral
Signature

Keisuke Okada (岡田 啓介 Okada Keisuke?, 20 January 1868 – 7 October 1952) was an admiral in the Imperial Japanese Navy, politician and the 31st Prime Minister of Japan from 8 July 1934 to 9 March 1936.

Contents

Biography

Early life

Okada was born in what is now Fukui Prefecture to an ex-samurai family. He attended the 15th class of the Imperial Japanese Naval Academy, graduating 7th out of a class of 80 cadets in 1889. He served as a midshipman on the ironclad warship Kongō and the cruiser Naniwa. He later served as lieutenant on the Itsukushima and Takachiho as well as the corvette Hiei.[1]

In the First Sino-Japanese War, Okada was serving on the Fuji. After his graduation from the Naval Staff College, he subsequently served on the Shikishima and as executive officer on the Yaeyama.

During the Russo-Japanese War, Okada served as executive officer on a successor of vessels, including the Chitose, Kasuga and Asahi before being given his own command, the Kasuga on 25 July 1910. He later transferred to the Kashima in 1912.

Promoted to rear admiral in 1 December 1913, Okada served in a number of desk jobs thereafter, including that of the Naval Shipbuilding Command. He was promoted to vice admiral on 1 December 1917 and full admiral on 11 June 1924.

Okada assumed the post of Commander-in-chief of the Combined Fleet in 1924. In 1927, he became Navy Minister in the administration of Tanaka Giichi, but resigned in 1929 to assume the post of military councillor on the Supreme War Council.

Okada was one of the few supporters (Treaty Faction) within the upper ranks of the Imperial Japanese Navy of the arms reduction treaty resulting London Naval Conference of 1930, of which he helped negotiate, and he worked hard for its ratification. He again served as Navy Minister in the Saitō Makoto cabinet of 1932.

Okada (left) and Denzō Matsuo

Political career

In July 1934, Okada was named Prime Minister of Japan holding simulateously the portfolio of Minister of Colonial Affairs. In the month of September 1935, he also briefly held the portfolio of Minister of Communications. Okada was one of the democratic and moderate voices against the increasing strength of the militarists, and was therefore a major target for extremist forces pushing for a more totalitarian Japan. He narrowly escaped assassination in the February 26 Incident of 1936, largely because rebel troops killed his brother-in-law by mistake, as well as his personal secretary, Colonel Denzō Matsuo. Okada emerged from hiding on 29 February 1936. However, he left office a few days later.

Okada was adamant in his opposition to the war with the United States. During World War II, Okada formed a group of like-minded politicians and military officers seeking an early end to the hostilities. After the defeat of Japanese forces at the Battle of Midway and Battle of Guadalcanal, Okada pushed for negotiations with the Allies, and played a leading role in the overthrow of the Hideki Tōjō cabinet in 1944.

Okada died in 1952, and his grave is at the Tama Reien Cemetery, in Fuchū, Tokyo. [2]

Honors

Notes

  1. ^ Nishida, Imperial Japanese Navy
  2. ^ Find-a-Grave website

References

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Fumio Gotō
Acting
Prime Minister of Japan
1936
Succeeded by
Kōki Hirota
Preceded by
Makoto Saitō
Prime Minister of Japan
1934–1936
Succeeded by
Fumio Gotō
Acting
Preceded by
Takejirō Tokonami
Minister of Communications
Sept 1935 - Sept 1935
Succeeded by
Keisuke Mochizuki
Preceded by
Ryūtarō Nagai
Minister of Colonial Affairs
July 1934 - Oct 1934
Succeeded by
Hideo Kodama
Preceded by
Mineo Ōsumi
Minister of the Navy
1932–1933
Succeeded by
Mineo Ōsumi
Preceded by
Takarabe Takeshi
Minister of the Navy
1927–1929
Succeeded by
Takarabe Takeshi
Military offices
Preceded by
Hiroharu Kato
Commander of Yokosuka Naval District
Dec 1926 - Apr 1927
Succeeded by
Kiyokazu Abo
Preceded by
Kantarō Suzuki
Commander of the Combined Fleet
Dec 1924- Dec 1926
Succeeded by
Hiroharu Kato

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