Supreme War Council (Japan)

The Supreme War Council ("Senso-shi-do") was established during the development of representative government in Meiji period Japan to further strengthen the authority of the state. Its first leader was Yamagata Aritomo (1838–1922), a Chōshū native who has been credited with the founding of the modern Japanese army and was to become the first constitutional prime minister. The Supreme War Council developed a German-style general staff system with a chief of staff who had direct access to the emperor and who could operate independently of the army minister and civilian officials.

Composition

The Supreme War Council was the "de facto" inner cabinet of Japan prior to and during World War II. During the war, it was in effect the Imperial General Headquarters.

Amongst its members were the following people:
* the Prime Minister
* the Minister of Foreign Affairs
* the Minister of War
* the Minister of the Navy
* the Chief of the Army General Staff and
* the Chief of the Navy General Staff

Membership during World War II

On the eve of the Attack on Pearl Harbor, the Council consisted of:

*Prime Minister: General Hideki Tojo
*Minister of Foreign Affairs: Shigenori Tōgō
*Minister of War: General Hideki Tojo
*Minister of the Navy: Admiral Shimada Shigetaro
*Chief of the Army General Staff: General Sugiyama Hajime
*Chief of the Navy General Staff: Admiral Nagano Osami

At the end of the war on August 14, 1945, it consisted of:

*Prime Minister: Admiral Suzuki Kantaro
*Minister of Foreign Affairs: Togo Shigenori
*Minister of War: General Anami Korechika
*Minister of the Navy: Admiral Yonai Mitsumasa
*Chief of the Army General Staff: General Umezu Yoshijiro
*Chief of the Navy General Staff: Admiral Toyoda Soemu


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