Konoe Fumimaro and the failure of peace in Japan, 1937-1941: by Kazuo Yagami

By Kazuo Yagami

The blame for a country’s errors frequently falls on its leaders. now and again, besides the fact that, a leader’s maximum mistake is to advertise the wrong ambitions of his humans. used to be this the case in global conflict II Japan? This publication considers that query within the tale of Konoe Fumimaro, who served as Japan’s top minister in the course of some of the most tough sessions of the country’s background. This old biography is a balanced account of Konoe and his carrier as major minister sooner than and through international struggle II. Governing from 1937 to 1941, Konoe performed a key function within the fight to enhance eastern international coverage. starting with Konoe’s schooling and political education, the writer then explores the final temper of Nineteen Thirties Japan and lines Konoe’s upward thrust throughout the political ranks, together with his first time period as major minister, his selection to step down, and his eventual comeback. in particular emphasised is how the fellow himself affected this era of eastern historical past. In his relentless paintings concerning Japanese-American international relations, he tried to alter the damaging path on which Japan was once bent. Defeated in essence via his personal army and its starting to be autonomy, Konoe however took the japanese defeat to center. the ultimate bankruptcy examines Konoe’s warfare event and its aftermath, which culminated in his suicide.

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Additional info for Konoe Fumimaro and the failure of peace in Japan, 1937-1941: a critical appraisal of the three-time prime minister

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1 6 As Saionji's rl' m a rk indicates, he did not see the necessity of having any fundamental , h a n g e both i nternally and externally. What was the best for Japan was to k l'ep the status quo. Sharply disagreeing with Saionj i , Konoe responded to Saionj i's "do­ n o t h i n g approac h . " He argued that the direction Japan was undertaking 1 h l' n w a s molded by the world situation . Regardless of whether or not the J J J i l i t a r y rose or the Manchurian I ncident took place, it was fate that Japan h .

Facing serious issues such as Japan's i n ternational isola­ t ion and the i n c reasi ngly i nten sified right-wing actions at home, and despite being a moderate, Prime M i nister Saito was worn out from gov­ erning. He was eager to step down and let Konoe be his successor. Con­ sidering that it would be a better option for Konoe to go abroad to see Japan from outside, however, Saionj i persuaded Saito to remai n in office and rec­ om mended Konoe to take the trip. Publicly, i t was a trip to attend the h igh school graduation of his older son , Fumitaka.

All this changed , however, when the Emperor showed his determi ­ nation to subdue the rebels. Even General Mazaki became hesitant t o fully support the rebels, so the rebellion was doomed . All together n ineteen men were sentenced to death, i ncluding Cap­ tain Isobe, officer Muranaka Koj i , an i nfluential intellectual and nation­ alist, Kita Ikki, and his follower, Nish ida M itsugu . J I General Mazaki was arrested as a supreme leader of the rebell ion but was later released because of i nsufficient evidence.

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