Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Ministry of the Navy of Japan
The Japanese Naval Ministry was established at the end of the 19th century, along with the Imperial Navy. The IJN was broadly based on the British Royal Navy and in the beginning its major vessels were built in Great Britain. Between 1894 and 1905, military spending on the part of Japan constituted roughly 40% of total government spending. By the time the Russo-Japanese War broke out, the Japanese Navy was large enough, and well-equipped enough, to defeat Russia.
The Navy was less politically influential than the Army, but they prided themselves on their cosmopolitan attitudes, breadth of experience, and logical approach to problems. Most Navy Ministers were Admirals who had retired from active service. However, the Ministry was also separate, in terms of operations and authority, from the Navy General Staff.
"The ministry was responsible for the naval budget, ship construction, weapons procurement, personnel, relations with the Diet and the cabinet, and broad matters of naval policy. The general staff directed the operations of the fleet and the preparation of war plans" (Spector, 39).
Up until the 1920s or so, the Ministry always held the upper hand over the General Staff in terms of political influence. However, the officers of the General Staff found an opportunity, at the Washington Naval Conference in 1921-22 to improve their situation. At this meeting, the United States and Britain wanted to establish a worldwide naval ratio, asking the Japanese to limit themselves to a smaller navy than most of the Western powers. The Naval Ministry was willing to agree to this, seeking to maintain their alliance with the world's great naval powers, but the General Staff refused to agree to the terms. Ultimately, the treaty was signed by Japan, but terminated in 1934. Through the 1920s and 1930s, the General Staff continued to gain influence and power, eventually advocating the attack on Pearl Harbor against the wishes of the more diplomatic Naval Ministry.
- Military Affairs Bureau
- Personnel Bureau
- Mobilization Bureau
- Intendence Bureau
- Medical Bureau
- Legal Bureau
- Technical Bureau
- Naval Aviation Bureau
- Supply and Transport Bureau
Ministers of the Navy of Japan (1900-1945)
Ministers of the Navy had to be serving active duty Admirals or Vice-admirals. They primarily served to provide communications and liaison between the Imperial Japanese Navy General Staff navy and the cabinet and the navy and the Imperial Diet.
- Yamamoto Gonnohyˇe; Oct 1900 - Jan 1906
- Saitˇ Makoto; Jan 1906 - Apr 1914
- Yasuhiro Rokurˇ ; Apr 1914 - Aug 1915
- Katˇ Tomosabusrˇ; Aug 1915 - Oct 1921
- Hara Kei (Acting Minister); Oct 1921 - Nov 1921
- Uchida Kˇsai ; - Nov 1921
- Takahashi Korekiyo (Acting); Nov 1921 - Mar 1922
- Katˇ Tomosaburˇ; Mar 1922 May 1923
- Takarabe Takeshi ; May 1923 - Jan 1924
- Murakami Kakuichi ; Jan 1924 - Jun 1924
- Takarabe Takeshi ; Jun 1924 - Apr 1927
- Okada Keisuke; Apr 1927 - Jul 1929
- Takarabe Takeshi ; Jul 1929 - Nov 1929
- Hamaguchi Osachi (Acting); Nov 1929 - May 1930
- Takarabe Takeshi ; May 1930 - Oct 1930
- Abo Kiyokazu ; Oct 1930 - Dec 1931
- Osumi Mineo ; Dec 1931 - May 1932
- Okada Keisuke; May 1932 - Jan 1933
- Osumi Mineo ; Jan 1933 - Mar 1936
- Nagano Osami; Mar 1936 - Feb 1937
- Yonai Mitsumasa; Feb 1937 - Aug 1939
- Yoshida Zengo ; Aug 1939 - Sep 1940
- Oikawa Koshirˇ ; Sep 1940 - Oct 1941
- Shimada Shigetarˇ; Oct 1941 - Jul 1944
- Nomura Naokuni ; - Jul 1944
- Yonai Mitsumasa; Jul 1944 - Dec 1945
- "Foreign Office Files for Japan and the Far East". Adam Matthew Publications. Accessed 2 March 2005.
- Spector, Ronald (1985). Eagle Against the Sun. New York: Vintage Books.
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