Nobuyuki Abe

Nobuyuki Abe
Abe Nobuyuki
阿部 信行
Prime Minister of Japan
In office
30 August 1939 – 16 January 1940
Monarch Shōwa
Preceded by Kiichirō Hiranuma
Succeeded by Mitsumasa Yonai
Governor General of Korea
In office
22 July 1944 – 12 September 1945
Monarch Shōwa
Preceded by Kuniaki Koiso
Succeeded by Position abolished
Personal details
Born 24 November 1875(1875-11-24)
Kanazawa, Japan
Died 7 September 1953(1953-09-07) (aged 77)
Political party Taisei Yokusankai (1940-1945)
Other political
Independent (Before 1940)
Alma mater Imperial Japanese Army Academy
Army War College
Profession General

Nobuyuki Abe[1] (阿部 信行 Abe Nobuyuki?, November 24, 1875 – September 7, 1953) was a general in the Imperial Japanese Army, Governor-General of Korea, and 36th Prime Minister of Japan from August 30, 1939 to January 16, 1940.


Early life and military career

Abe was born into an ex-samurai family in Kanazawa city, Ishikawa Prefecture. His brother-in-law was Imperial Japanese Navy admiral Shigeyoshi Inoue.

Abe attended Tokyo No.1 Middle School (Tokyo Metropolitan Hibiya High School) followed by No.4 High School. While still a student, he volunteered for military service during the First Sino-Japanese War.

After the war, Abe graduated from the Imperial Japanese Army Academy followed by the 19th class of the Army War College. Ultranationalist General Araki Sadao was one of his classmates. Abe became commander of the 3rd Field Artillery Regiment from 1918-1921. In August 1918, his regiment was sent to Siberia during Japan's Siberian Intervention, but was never in combat.

Abe was appointed commander of the 4th Infantry Division on December 22, 1930. He later served as instructor in the Army War College followed by chief of the Military Affairs Bureau and as Vice Minister of the Army.

In 1933, Abe was promoted to full general and became Commander in Chief of the Taiwan Army. In 1936, he was placed on the reserve list.

As Prime Minister

Abe Nobuyuki was not the obvious first choice as Prime Minister after the collapse of the Hiranuma Kiichiro cabinet. From the civilian side, Konoe Fumimaro or Hirota Koki were regarded as front-runners; however the Army and the ultranationalists strongly supported General Ugaki Kazushige. After genrō Saionji Kinmochi declared his disinterest in any of the candidates, the Army was poised to have its way. However, Ugaki fell ill and was hospitalized. The interim War Minister General Abe Nobuyuki was a compromise. Abe had the advantage of belonging to neither the Toseiha nor the Kodoha political factions within the Army and was also supported as a relative political moderate by the Imperial Japanese Navy; on the other hand he was despised by many senior Army officers for his total lack of any combat experience.

Abe became Prime Minister on August 30, 1939.[2] He concurrently held the portfolio of Foreign Minister during his term in office. During his short four month tenure, Abe sought to quickly end the Second Sino-Japanese War, and to maintain Japan's neutrality in the growing European conflict. He was also opposed to efforts by elements within the Army to form a political-military alliance with Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy.

Lacking in support from either the military or the political parties, Abe was replaced by Mitsumasa Yonai in January 1940.

Subsequent career

Three months later after his replacement as Prime Minister, the Army sent Abe sent as a special envoy to China to advise the Japanese-supported regime of Wang Jingwei in Nanjing, and to negotiate a treaty ensuring Japanese economic and military rights in northern China.

After his return to Japan, Abe joined the House of Peers in 1942, and accepted the largely ceremonial position as president of the Imperial Rule Assistance Political Association. He was appointed the 10th (and last) Governor-General of Korea in 1944 and 1945.

After World War II, Abe was purged from public office, and arrested by the American occupation government. However, he was not charged with any war crimes and was soon released.

His second son was Nobuhiro Abe .



  • Barhart, Michael (1988). Japan Prepares for Total War: The Search for Economic Security, 1919-1941. Cornell University Press. ISBN 0-8014-9529-6. 
  • Bix, Herbert B. (2001). Hirohito and the Making of Modern Japan. Harper Perennial. ISBN 0-06-093130-2. 
  • Coox, Alvin D. (1990). Nomonhan: Japan Against Russia, 1939. Stanford University Press. ISBN 0-8047-1835-0. 
  • Baudot, Marcel (1988). The Historical Encyclopedia or World War II. Facts on File Inc. ISBN 0-87196-401-5. 

External links


  1. ^ The script Noboyuki is also found
  2. ^ Baudot, Marcel (1980). The Historical Encyclopedia or World War II. Facts on File Inc.. pp. 1. ISBN 0-87196-401-5. 
Political offices
Preceded by
Hachirō Arita
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Succeeded by
Kichisaburō Nomura
Preceded by
Kiichirō Hiranuma
Prime Minister of Japan
Succeeded by
Mitsumasa Yonai
Preceded by
Kuniaki Koiso
Governor General of Korea
Position abolished

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