Reijiro Wakatsuki

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Reijiro Wakatsuki (1866 - 1949) was twice Prime Minister of Japan, and a government official and civil servant specializing in finance.

He was born to a samurai family, and graduated from the Law Faculty of Tokyo University in 1892. After service as tax bureau director and vice-minister in the ministry and became a member of the lower house of the Diet in 1911.

In addition, he served as finance minister in the third Katsura cabinet and second Okuma cabinet. In 1924, he assumed the office of Home Minister in the cabinet of Takaaki Kato and worked to enact the Universal Manhood Suffrage Law.

In 1926, he became prime minister, and was succeeded by Osachi Hamaguchi. Hamaguchi named him as chief delegate plenipotentiary to the 1930 London Naval Conference, an unprecedented role for a civilian.[1] Hamaguchi was shot by an assassin in 1930, and died in 1931.

He resumed his post as prime minister in 1931. He opposed the war against the United States, and after the outbreak of the war, he sided with a group seeking peace.[2]

He did participate in a February 1945 conference, with other former Prime Minister, after the Battle of Saipan and just before the start of the Battle of Iwo Jima and six weeks before the Battle of Okinawa, which they recommended continuing the war. [3]


  1. Edwin T. Hoyt (1985), The Militarists: the Rise of Japanese Militarism since WWII, Donald I. Fine, ISBN 0917657179, p. 80
  2. Watasuki, Reijiro, National Diet Library
  3. Herbert P. Bix (2001), Hirohito and the making of modern Japan, Harper Perennial, ISBN 978-0060931308, pp. 487-488