Prime Minister from 1926-1927 and from April-December 1931
Cabinet list Wakatsuki Reijiro I cabinet
Cabinet list Wakatsuki Reijiro II cabinet
Tenure as Prime Minster: 690 days.
Born in Shimane

Born in Shimane prefecture, Wakatsuki graduated from Tokyo University and then entered the finance ministry. 1906 and 1908-1911 he served as vice finance minister. After being elected to the Diet in 1911, Wakatsuki in 1912 joined the Rikken Doshikai, the party formed by Katsura Taro, and became finance minister in the third Katsura cabinet, a post he retained until 1915. In 1924 he was named home minister in the Kato Takaaki cabinet. He worked for the adoption of the universal manhood suffrage bill and the Peace Preservation Law both of wichi were passed in 1925.
When Kato Takaaki died in office in 1926, Wakatsuki took over as prime minister until 1927. As Japan's chief delegate to the 1930 London Naval Conference (together with Takarabe Takeshi), he pressed for the ratification of the proposed disarmament treaty notwithstanding strong resistance from the military. After Prime Minister Hamaguchi Osachi was shot by a right-wing extremist in 1930, Wakatsuki assumed the presidency of the Rikken Minseito, successor to the Doshikai/Kenseikai, and served once more as prime minister in 1931.
On the night of Sept. 18, 1931, Japanese troops from the Kwantung army used the pretext of an explosion along the Japanese-controlled South Manchurian Railway to occupy the city of Mukden (Mukden incident or Manchurian incident). On September 21, Japanese reinforcements arrived from Korea, and the army began to expand throughout northern Manchuria. In Tokyo neither the high command of the Japanese army nor Prime Minister Wakatsuki proved able to restrain the Kwantung Army in the field, and within three months Japanese troops had spread throughout Manchuria. As a consequence, Wakatsuki resigned in late 1931 and retired to the role of jushin (senior statesman). Later, he belonged to a group that opposed waging war against the United States and remained politically active as a senior statesman until his dead in 1944.

Wakatsuki Reijiro, 1866-1944