Hamaguchi Osachi


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(b. 1 Apr. 1870, d. 26 Aug. 1931).

Prime Minister of Japan 1929–31

Prior to his political career Hamaguchi had served as an official in the Ministry of Finance. As the successor to the government of Tanaka Giichi, Hamaguchi's Minseito party administration proved unable to cope with the turbulence in domestic and international affairs. The policies of the Minister of Finance, Inoue Junnosuke, imposed austerity on the economy which deepened the ‘Shôwa Depression’. Foreign policy was equally unpopular, especially after the Foreign Minister, Shidehara Kijirô, accepted an inferior position for the Japanese navy towards the other powers in the Pacific in negotiations for the London Treaty of 1930. In the welter of domestic criticism that followed, Hamaguchi was attacked by a rightist youth and died later of his wounds. The Hamaguchi Cabinet came to be seen as having contributed greatly to the loss of support for party government in prewar Japan.

Subjects: Contemporary History (Post 1945).

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