Prime Minister from 1913-1914 and 1923-1924
Cabinet list Yamamoto Gonbei I cabinet
Cabinet list Yamamoto Gonbei II cabinet
Tenure as Prime Minster: 549 days.
Born in Kagoshima (Satsuma
Son of a samurai family in Satsuma
province, Yamamoto fought in the Boshin civil war that followed the Meiji Restoration
- the Boshin War. In 1874, he graduated from the Naval Training
Academy. He became one of the most influential figures in planning naval
strategy during the Sino-Japanese War of 1894-1895 and in the administration
of the Navy Ministry. He became navy minister in the second Yamagata Aritomo
cabinet of 1898, a post he held in successive cabinets for six years.
In 1913, during the Taisho Political Crisis, Yamamoto was appointed prime
minister after the collapse of the second cabinet of Katsura Taro
which was a result of public uprisings. Yamamoto's cabinet, which closely
cooperated with the party Seiyukai and its leader Hara Takashi
, revised the administrative rule that allowed only officers on active
duty to serve as army and navy ministers, which had been introduced by
in 1898. The Siemens Incident of 1914, a scandal involving naval officers,
forced Yamamoto's resignation.
In 1923, however, Yamamoto was again summoned to form a cabinet. Assuming
responsibility for the Toranomon Incident, an assassination attempt on
the prince regent (the later Showa Emperor) by a Japanese-Korean, Yamamoto
resigned on 7 January 1924 and withdrew from politics.