Prime Minister from 1929-1931
Cabinet list Hamaguchi Osachi cabinet
Tenure as Prime Minster: 652 days.
Born in Kochi prefecture
Hamaguchi graduated from Tokyo University in 1895 and then entered the
Ministry of Finance. In 1915, he was for the first time elected to the
House of Representatives of the National Diet and joined the Rikken Doshikai
party of Katsura Taro
. He served as finance minister in both cabinets of Kato Takaaki
and as home minister in the Wakatsuki Reijiro
cabinet. In 1927, he became the president of the Rikken Minseito formed
by the merger of the Kenseikai and Seiyu Honto parties.
After the collapse of the cabinet of Tanaka Giichi
, Hamaguchi was named prime minister in 1929. In his efforts to strengthen
the national economy anf combat inflation, he returned Japan to the gold
standard and promoted mechanization and rationalization of industry, but
his politics in general remained unpopular. The effects of the world depression
deflated the Japanese economy even further than Hamaguchi had intended,
and his measures led to social unrest. In 1930 Hamaguchi pushed through
ratification of the London naval treaty against resistance from the military.
As a result he was accused of having encroached on the emperor's prerogative
of supreme command (tosuiken no dokuritsu). He survived an assasination
attempt in November 1930, when a right-wing extremist shot him at Tokyo
Station, and got back into politics shortly, but he died from the effects
of the wounds inflicted at the assasination attempt in August 1931.
Page from Hamaguchi Osachi's diary (nikki)
(National Diet Library)
Hamaguchi Osachi (Yuko), 1870-1931