Prime Minister 1937-39 and 1940-41
Cabinet list Konoe Fumimaro I cabinet
Cabinet list Konoe Fumimaro II cabinet
Cabinet list Konoe Fumimaro III cabinet
Tenure as Prime Minster: 1,035 days.
Born in Tokyo

Konoe was born to the foremost of the five families from among which regents (sessho) and chancellors (kampaku) were chosen. His father, Atsumaro, was a prominent statesman and famous for his pan-Asian visions. Konoe Fumimaro graduated from Kyoto University in 1917. Under the tutelage of Saionji Kinmochi, he became a member of the House of Peers in 1916 and served as a member of the Japanese delegation to the Paris Peace Conference in 1919. At this time he wrote an article rejecting the Anglo-American principle of pacifism as a convenient cover for maintaining the status quo by nations which, unlike Japan, already possessed extensive spheres of influence. He also vigorously criticized as impractical the principle of an international league as a means of abolishing economic imperialism and racial prejudice.
He was an active leader of the House of Peers, becoming its vice-president in 1931 and its president from 1933 to 1937. He was a staunch defender of the nobility, which he believed should preserve a high-minded impartial  position as defenders of the imperial polity (kokutai). Konoe continued advocating the reduction of Western influence in Asia and the enhancement of Japan's power and prestige in its place. After Chinese nationalists resisted Japanese expansion on the Asian mainland, Konoe supported the conversion of Manchuria into a Japanese puppet state (1931).
Konoe's first cabinet (1937-1939) presided during the outbreak of the Sino-Japanese War of 19371945 and the Japanese government's initial steps toward mobilizing the populace into a "national defense state". Because of his inability to end the war in China on his terms, Konoe resigned in 1939.
In early 1940 he sought to launch the New Order Movement and in July was reappointed prime minister. His second two (consecutive) terms saw a worsening of Japan's position at home and abroad and the creation of the Imperial Rule Assistance Association. Konoe proclaimed the establishment of a Japan-dominated Greater East Asia Coprosperity Sphere as part of his program to have Japan recognized as the master of East Asia. In September Japan concluded a military alliance, the Tripartite Pact, with Germany and Italy and then sought the Soviet Union's support of this accord in order to secure Japan's northern flank and deter British and US intervention in China and Southeast Asia.
Hitler's attack on the Soviet Union in June 1941 ruined Konoe's plans for a four-party alliance. In the summer of 1941, perceiving that Japan's overseas expansion could not succeed in the face of US economic and military pressure, he proposed, in vain, a summit meeting with President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Unwilling to accept any further responsibility for Japan's dilemma, he resigned from office on 16 October. Throughout the remainder of World War II, Konoe held no public office but retained influence. In the first postwar cabinet, he served as vice朴rime minister and worked on revising Japan's constitution to conform with the wishes of the Occupation authorities, who withdrew their support of his constitutional reforms and indicted him as a war criminal. On 16 December 1945 he committed suicide.




Konoe Fumimaro, 1891-1945

近衛文麿