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The genro were a group of pre-1945 Japanese elder statesmen, advisors to the Mutsohito, the Meiji Emperor, with the most important traditional role being the recommendation of candidates for Prime Minister of Japan. Their role reduced during the reign of Hirohito, with the dealt of Prince Saionji, in 1940, called "the last of the genro."[1] While the Privy Council (Japan) was advisory as well, the genro were separate from it. While they were representatives of tradition, they did represent some of the cautious liberalization of the Meiji Restoration, and, for a time, were a balance on the increasingly aggressive foreign policy.

Most were of the Chosu and Satsuma Clans:[2]


  1. "News: Last of the Genro", Time, 2 December 1940
  2. Harold S. Quigley, Japanese Government and Politics, Read Books, pp. 96-97