Prime Minister from 1931-1932
Cabinet list Inukai Tsuyoshi cabinet
Tenure as Prime Minster: 156 days.
Born in Okayama prefecture
Inukai studied at Keio Gijuku (Keio University) in Tokyo and became a journalist.
Participating in the foundation of the party Rikken Kaishinto in 1882,
Inukai supported liberal political causes and was critical of the domination
of the government by political leaders from the former Choshu
cliques. Elected to the House of Representatives in the first general
election in 1890 and reelected 17 times, he was a leading figure first
in the Shimpoto (Progress Party) and became a protege of Okuma Shigenobu
. In 1910 he split from the Shinpoto and organized the Constitutional National
Party (Rikken Kokuminto). With Ozaki Yukio
, Inukai became the most prominent leader of the Movement for the Protection
of Constitutionalism (goken undo) that led to the resignation iof Katsura Taro
's third cabinet. For his role, Inukai (and Ozaki) were thereafter called
the "Gods of Constitutionalism" (kensei no kamisama).
The Kokuminto, reorganized in 1922 as the Reform Club (Kakushin Kurabu),
joined forces with the Kenseikai and the Rikken Seiyukai to form the Kato Takaaki
cabinet in 1924, with Inukai as minister of communications. The Kakushin
Kurabu later merged with the Seiyukai, and Inukai continued to be elected
to the House of Representatives as a senior member of the Seiyukai. With
the death of Tanaka Giichi
, Inukai became president of the Seiyukai in 1929.
In 1931 Japanese troops of the Kwantung Army started the Manchurian incident
and occupied the Chinese provinces of Manchuria (Northeast Provinces).
When the cabinet of Wakatsuki Reijiro
fell as a consequence, Inukai was asked to organize a cabinet of his own,
becoming prime minister in December 1931. Inukai was staunchly opposed
to the continued attempts by the military to usurp the decision-making
functions of the cabinetand tried to halt further military activities in
Manchuria, whereupon he was assassinated during an attempted coup d'etat
by ultranationalist officers in 1932, the May 15th Incident.