Ministry of Colonial Affairs (Japan)

Ministry of Colonial Affairs
拓務省
Takumushō
Agency overview
Formed June 10, 1929 (1929-06-10)
Dissolved November 1, 1942 (1942-11-01)
Superseding agency
  • Colonization Bureau
Parent agency Empire of Japan
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The Ministry of Colonial Affairs (拓務省, Takumushō) was a cabinet-level government ministry of the Empire of Japan from 1929 to 1942.

History

The original Ministry of Colonial Affairs was the short-lived Hokkaidō Colonization Office, established in the early Meiji period by Prime Minister Kuroda Kiyotaka to protect Japan's sparely populated northern frontier against encroachment by Imperial Russia by encouraging the settlement of ex-soldiers as militia-farmers in Hokkaidō.

This was followed by the even shorter-lived Colonial Administration Department within the office of the Governor-General of Taiwan. Established on 2 April 1896 by General Takashima Tomonosuke, it was intended to encourage Japanese investment and settlement in Taiwan, after the acquisition of that island by Japan as a result of the First Sino-Japanese War. The office was abolished on 2 September 1897.

The Japanese government continued to provide sporadic encouragement of overseas emigration to help relieve overpopulation of the Japanese home islands and to help spread Japanese influence overseas. During the late Meiji period and early Taishō period, large numbers of Japanese emigrated to Hawaii, California and the Philippines, and lesser numbers to China, South America and Southeast Asia. However, the emigration of Japanese to foreign countries did nothing to help secure the peripheral areas of the Japanese Empire itself.

Japan acquired Korea, Karafuto, and the Kwantung Leased Territory as a result of the Russo-Japanese War, and a Colonization Bureau (拓務局, Takumukyoku) was established within the Japanese Home Ministry on 22 June 1910. The bureau came under much criticism for its ineffectiveness, and on 10 June 1929, it was elevated into a separate cabinet-level ministry under Prime Minister Giichi Tanaka.

The new ministry was intended to coordinate emigration and settlement in all exterior territories of Japan, and had supervisory responsibility for Japanese controlled territory of Korea (朝鮮, Chōsen), of Taiwan (台湾, Taiwan), of Karafuto (樺太, Karafuto) (or South Sakhalin), of Nanyo (南洋, Nan'yō) (or South Pacific Mandate), and the Kwantung Leased Territory (関東, Kantō)

However, the ministry did not actually sponsor emigration to those territories. It only provided advice and cooperated with private emigration sponsorship companies.

The ministry also oversaw operations of the South Manchuria Railway Company, but its authority did not extend to Manchuria due to strong resistance by the Ministry of War of Japan, who wanted to keep control over the future economic development of Manchuria to itself.

Likewise, the Governor-General of Korea, who was accustomed to virtual autonomy, rejected the new ministry's control and continued to administer Korea with little interference.

On 1 November 1942, the Ministry of Colonial Affairs was abolished, and its functions divided between the Japanese Foreign Ministry and the newly created Ministry of Greater East Asia.

List of Ministers of Colonial Affairs

Portrait Name Term of office Cabinet
1 Tanaka Giichi
田中 義一
10 June
1929
2 July
1929
Tanaka
2 Matsuda Genji
松田 源治
2 July
1929
14 April
1931
Hamaguchi
3 Hara Shūjirō
原 脩次郎
14 April
1931
9 September
1931
2nd Wakatsuki
4 Wakatsuki Reijirō
若槻 礼次郎
9 September
1931
13 December
1931
5 Hata Toyosuke
秦 豊助
13 December
1931
26 May
1932
Inukai
6 Nagai Ryūtarō
永井 柳太郎
26 May
1932
8 July
1934
Saitō
7 Okada Keisuke
岡田 啓介
8 July
1934
9 October
1934
Okada
8 Kodama Hideo
兒玉 秀雄
9 October
1934
9 March
1936
9 Nagata Hidejirō
永田秀次郎
9 March
1936
2 February
1937
Hirota
10 Yūki Toyotarō
結城 豊太郎
2 February
1937
4 June
1937
Hayashi
11 Ōtani Sonyu
大谷 尊由
4 June
1937
26 May
1938
1st Konoe
12 Ugaki Kazushige
宇垣 一成
26 May
1938
30 September
1938
13 Konoe Fumimaro
近衞 文麿
30 September
1938
29 October
1938
14 Hatta Yoshiaki
八田 嘉明
29 October
1938
7 April
1939
15 Koiso Kuniaki
小磯國昭
7 April
1939
30 August
1939
Hiranuma
16 Kanemitsu Tsuneo
金光 庸夫
30 August
1939
16 January
1940
Abe
17 Koiso Kuniaki
小磯國昭
16 January
1940
22 July
1940
Yonai
18 Matsuoka Yōsuke
松岡 洋右
22 July
1940
28 September
1940
2nd Konoe
19 Akita Kiyoshi
秋田 清
28 September
1940
18 July
1941
20 Toyoda Teijirō
豊田 貞次郎
18 July
1941
18 October
1941
3rd Konoe
21 Tōgō Shigenori
東郷茂徳
18 October
1941
2 December
1941
Tōjō
22 Ino Hiroya
井野 碩哉
2 December
1941
2 November
1942

Bibliography

  • Beasley, W.G. (1991). Japanese Imperialism 1894-1945. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-822168-1. 
  • Ching, Leo T.S. (2001). Becoming Japanese: Colonial Taiwan and the Politics of Identity Formation. University of California Press. ISBN 0-520-22553-8. 
  • Myers, Raymond; Mark R Peattie (1987). The Japanese Colonial Empire, 1895-1945. Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691-10222-8. 
  • Townsend, Susan C. (2000). Yanihara Tadao and Japanese Colonial Policy: Redeeming Empire. RoutledgeCurzon. ISBN 0-7007-1275-5. 
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