Fumimaro Konoe

Prince[1] Fumimaro Konoe (Japanese: 近衞 文麿 Hepburn: Konoe Fumimaro, often Konoye, 12 October 1891 – 16 December 1945) was a Japanese politician in the Empire of Japan who served as the 34th, 38th and 39th Prime Minister of Japan and founder/leader of the Imperial Rule Assistance Association. He was Prime Minister in the lead-up to Japan entering World War II.

Fumimaro Konoe
近衞 文麿
Fumimaro Konoe profile
Konoe in 1938
23rd Prime Minister of Japan
In office
22 July 1940 – 18 October 1941
Preceded byMitsumasa Yonai
Succeeded byHideki Tōjō
In office
4 June 1937 – 5 January 1939
Preceded bySenjūrō Hayashi
Succeeded byKiichirō Hiranuma
Leader of the Imperial Rule Assistance Association
In office
12 October 1940 – 18 October 1941
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded byHideki Tōjō
Personal details
Born12 October 1891
Tokyo, Japan
Died16 December 1945 (aged 54)
Tokyo, Japan
Political partyImperial Rule Assistance Association (1940–1945)
Other political
Independent (Before 1940)
Spouse(s)Konoe Chiyoko (1896–1980)
Alma materKyoto Imperial University
Fumimaro Konoe's signature

Early life

Fumimaro Konoe in his 20s
Fumimaro Konoe in his 20s.

Prince Fumimaro Konoe was born into the ancient Fujiwara clan, and was the heir of the Konoe family in Tokyo. His younger brother Hidemaro Konoye was a symphony conductor. Konoe's father, Atsumaro, had been politically active, having organized the Anti-Russia Society in 1903. In 1904, Atsumaro's death left Konoe, at the age of 12, with the title of Prince, plenty of social standing but not much money. He studied Marxian economics at Kyoto Imperial University. In 1916, he automatically became a member of House of Peers according to his hereditary title.

Prince Konoe successfully lobbied to be included in the Japanese delegation to the Paris Peace Conference, 1919. In 1918, prior to Versailles, he published an essay titled "Reject the Anglo-American-Centered Peace" (英米本位の平和主義を排す). Following a translation by American journalist Thomas Franklin Fairfax Millard, Japanese political advisor Saionji Kinmochi wrote a rebuttal in his journal, Millard's Review of the Far East.[2] During the Paris peace conference, Konoe was one of the Japanese diplomats who proposed the Racial Equality Proposal for the Covenant of the League of Nations.[3] When the Racial Equality Clause came up before the committee, the following nations voted for it: Japan, France, Serbia, Greece, Italy, Brazil, Czechoslovakia, and China, but the American President Woodrow Wilson overturned the vote by declaring that the clause needed unanimous support. Konoe took the rejection of the Racial Equality Clause very badly, and was afterwards known to have had a grudge against white people who he felt had humiliated Japan by rejecting the Racial Equality Clause.[4]

In 1925, Konoe gained favorable public attention by supporting a bill extending suffrage to all males aged 25 and over (see General Election Law). In 1933, he was elected President of the House of Peers. He was awarded the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Sacred Treasure in 1934.

Prime Minister and war with China

Fumimaro Konoe President of the House of Peers
President of the House of Peers, 1936

In June 1937, Prince Konoe became Prime Minister. One month later, Japanese troops clashed with Chinese troops near Peking in the Marco Polo Bridge Incident. Konoe dispatched three divisions of troops, admonishing the military to be sure not to escalate the conflict. Within three weeks the army launched a general assault. Konoe and his cabinet feared that Japanese troops would not respect any peace agreement. He was also unsure that Chiang Kai-shek could control his own forces. In August, Chinese sentries killed two Japanese marines who crashed a gate at a Chinese airfield in Shanghai. Konoe agreed with Army Minister General Hajime Sugiyama to send two divisions to defend Japanese honor. The Battle of Shanghai broke out. His cabinet then issued a declaration, accusing both nationalist and communist Chinese of "increasingly provocative and insulting" behavior toward Japan.

In December, Imperial General Headquarters, a structure completely autonomous from the civilian government being responsible only to the Emperor, ordered its forces in China to drive toward Nanjing, the Chinese capital. Nanjing was captured within a few weeks, after which the Japanese Army committed the infamous Nanjing massacre, killing upwards of 250,000 civilians.

After taking Nanking, the Japanese Army was doubtful about its ability to advance up the Yangtze river valley, and favored taking up a German offer of mediation to end the war with China.[5] Konoe by contrast, was not interested in peace, and instead chose to escalate the war by suggesting deliberately humiliating terms that he knew Chiang Kai-shek would never accept, in order to win a "total victory" over China.[6] In January 1938, Konoe's government announced that it would no longer deal with Chiang, but would await the development of a new regime. When later asked for clarifications, Konoe said he meant more than just non-recognition of Chiang's regime but "rejected it" and would "eradicate it".[7] The American historian Gerhard Weinberg wrote about Konoe's escalation of the war: "The one time in the decade between 1931 and 1941 that the civilian authorities in Tokyo mustered the energy, courage and ingenuity to overrule the military on a major peace issue they did so with fatal results-fatal for Japan, fatal for China, and for Konoe himself".[8] Meanwhile, Konoe and the military pushed a National Mobilization Law through the Diet. This allowed the central government to control all manpower and material.

Japanese victories continued at Xuzhou, Hankow, Canton, Wuchang, Hanyang – but still the Chinese kept on fighting. Konoe, stating that he was tired of being a "robot" for the military, resigned in January 1939, and was appointed chairman of the Privy Council. Kiichirō Hiranuma succeeded him as Prime Minister. Konoe was awarded the 1st class of the Order of the Rising Sun in 1939.

Konoe's second term, the Matsuoka foreign policy

Fumimaro Konoe 4
Prime Minister Fumimaro Konoe (1891–1945, in office 1937–39 and 1940–41)

Due to dissatisfaction with the policies of Prime Minister Mitsumasa Yonai, the Japanese Army demanded Konoe's recall as Prime Minister. On 23 June, Konoe resigned his position as Chairman of the Privy Council,[9] and on 16 July 1940, the Yonai cabinet resigned and Konoe was appointed Prime Minister. One of his first moves was to launch the League of Diet Members Supporting the Prosecution of the Holy War to counter opposition from politicians such as deputy Saitō Takao who had spoken against the Second Sino-Japanese War in the Diet on 2 February.

Against the advice of his political allies and the Emperor, Konoe appointed Yōsuke Matsuoka as his foreign minister. Matsuoka was popular with the Army and the Japanese public, having established himself as the man who angrily led Japan out of the League of Nations in 1933. Konoe and Matsuoka based their foreign policy on a document that had been drawn up by the Army. As a result of this policy, it was agreed that Japan would try to secure its position in China, defuse the conflict with the Soviet Union, move troops into Indochina, and prepare for a military response from Britain and possibly the United States.

Second Cabinet of Fumimaro Konoe
Konoe with his cabinet ministers, including War Minister Hideki Tojo, the second row, second from the left (22 July 1940)

Following the fall of France, Japan stationed troops in French Indochina in September 1940. On 27 September 1940, the Tripartite Pact was signed, aligning Japan, Germany and Italy.

Matsuoka attempted to secure Japan's position with a neutrality agreement between Japan and the Soviet Union (through Molotov and Stalin). Japan agreed to relinquish mineral extraction rights in the northern half of Sakhalin, but otherwise made no concessions. For Japan, the pact made it less likely that the United States and the Soviet Union would team up against them. This neutrality agreement was honored by both sides until 1945.

Attempts to avoid war with the United States

In April, 1941, a triumphant Matsuoka returned to Japan, but Konoe had in hand a peace proposal from the United States. The proposal included American recognition of Manchukuo, the merging of Chiang's government with the Japan-backed Reorganized National Government of China, withdrawal of Japanese troops from China and mutual respect for its independence, and an agreement that Japanese immigration to the United States shall proceed "on the basis of equality with other nationals and free from discrimination." A meeting for negotiation between United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Konoe was proposed for Honolulu, to commence as early as May.

Each side believed that it represented the starting position of the other side, however it had actually been drawn up by two American Maryknoll priests and two mid-level Japanese officials. Konoe, believing the document was an agreed starting point for negotiation, began to line up support for the idea of a summit conference in Hawaii. However, Secretary of State Cordell Hull and Roosevelt had no intention of bargaining from this draft.

Back in Japan, Matsuoka was furious that Konoe had offered concessions behind his back. Konoe was unable to wear him down, and was afraid of the Army's reaction if he overrode the Foreign Minister. In the end, Matsuoka replaced the draft with Japan's "co-prosperity" policy. This document was conveyed to the Americans on 12 May, and found to be unacceptable.

On 22 June 1941, Germany invaded the Soviet Union and once again Japan was caught completely by surprise. Hurried conferences took place at the highest levels. The question was whether this represented an opportunity for Japan. In the end, the formal leadership group, called the Imperial Headquarters-Cabinet Liaison Conference, agreed on the "southern" strategy. It also agreed that German progress should be closely monitored. Matsuoka transmitted a provocative statement to Hull, and informed the Soviet Ambassador that the Axis agreement took precedence over the Japan-Soviet neutrality pact. Konoe resigned, and formed a new government without Matsuoka as Foreign Minister. The new Foreign Minister assured the Soviet Ambassador that Japan would honor the neutrality agreement, even though Germany was urging its Japanese ally to attack the Russians from the east.

On 28 July 1941, Japanese forces occupied all of French Indochina. The United States was forewarned of this move through its monitoring of Japan's cable traffic. Roosevelt immediately froze Japanese assets in the United States. Great Britain and the Dutch East Indies government did likewise. Roosevelt also placed an embargo on oil exports to Japan. Over 80% of Japan's need was being met through American imports, therefore on 31 July, the navy informed the Emperor that Japan's oil stockpiles would be completely depleted in two years. Konoe had been counting on the Navy to restrain the Army from its aggressive designs. Now, however, the Navy Chief of Staff Osami Nagano argued that if war with the United States was inevitable, it should start right away.

Konoe made one more desperate attempt to avert war. He proposed a personal summit with Roosevelt—in the United States if necessary–to come to some understanding. Konoe secured backing from the Navy and the Emperor for this move. The Army agreed, provided that Konoe adhere to the consensus foreign policy, and be prepared to go to war if his initiative failed.

Roosevelt and Hull accepted the invitation, since they were keen to delay Japan's potential attack. Roosevelt told Ambassador Nomura that he would like to see more details of Konoe's proposal, and he suggested that Juneau, Alaska, might be a good spot for a meeting.

On 5 September, Konoe met the Emperor with chiefs of staff General Hajime Sugiyama and Admiral Osami Nagano. Alarmed, the Emperor asked what happened to the negotiations with Roosevelt. Konoe replied that, of course, negotiations were primary, and the military option was only a fall-back position if negotiations failed. The Emperor then questioned Sugiyama about the chances of success of an open war with the Occident. After Sugiyama answered positively, Hirohito scolded him, remembering that the Army had predicted that the invasion of China would be completed in only three months.[10]

Konoe in Limo
Visibly distressed in the fall of 1941 right before the attack on Pearl Harbor.

The next day the policy about the preparation for war against "United States, England and Holland" was formally proposed at the Imperial Conference. The Imperial Conference adopted the policy that would result in the attack on Pearl Harbor. The policy established a set of minimum demands that must be met through negotiations. If Konoe's negotiations did not bear fruit by mid-October, Japan would commence hostilities against the United States, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom.

While the Emperor received detailed reports from Sugiyama and Nagano about the operations in Southeast Asia and the attack of Pearl Harbor,[11] Prime Minister Konoe made one last desperate attempt to avoid war. That very evening, he arranged a secret dinner conference with American Ambassador Joseph Grew. He told Grew that he was prepared to travel to meet Roosevelt on a moment's notice. The ship had already been prepared. Ambassador Grew urged his superiors to advise Roosevelt to accept the summit proposal. However, in the end, Konoe's last push for a diplomatic solution was made in vain.

In a cabinet meeting on 14 October, Army Minister Hideki Tojo stated that negotiations had failed, the deadline had passed. At the close of this meeting, Konoe realized he was not able to win Navy backing against the adamant Army stance.

Cabinet of Prince Higashikuni Naruhiko
Cabinet of Prince Naruhiko Higashikuni with Mamoru Shigemitsu, Mitsumasa Yonai and Fumimaro Konoe in front row.
Corpse of Fumimaro Konoe
A SCAP coroner performing a postmortem on Konoe (17 December 1945)

Konoe resigned on 16 October 1941, one day after having recommended Prince Naruhiko Higashikuni to the Emperor as his successor.[12] Two days later, Hirohito chose General Tōjō as Prime Minister. In 1946, Hirohito explained this decision: "I actually thought Prince Higashikuni suitable as chief of staff of the Army; but I think the appointment of a member of the imperial house to a political office must be considered very carefully. Above all, in time of peace this is fine, but when there is a fear that there may even be a war, then more importantly, considering the welfare of the imperial house, I wonder about the wisdom of a member of the imperial family serving [as prime minister]."[13] Six weeks later, Japan attacked Pearl Harbor.

Konoe justified his demission to his secretary Kenji Tomita. "Of course His Imperial Majesty is a pacifist and he wished to avoid war. When I told him that to initiate war was a mistake, he agreed. But the next day, he would tell me: 'You were worried about it yesterday but you do not have to worry so much.' Thus, gradually he began to lead to war. And the next time I met him, he leaned even more to war. I felt the Emperor was telling me: 'My prime minister does not understand military matters. I know much more.' In short, the Emperor had absorbed the view of the army and the navy high commands."[14]

Final years of the war and suicide

Konoe played a role in the fall of the Tōjō government in 1944. In February 1945, during the first private audience he had been allowed in three years,[15] he advised the Emperor to begin negotiations to end World War II. According to Grand Chamberlain Hisanori Fujita, Hirohito, still looking for a tennozan (a great victory), firmly rejected Konoe's recommendation.[16]

After the beginning of the American occupation, Konoe served in the cabinet of Prince Naruhiko Higashikuni, the first post-war government. Having refused to collaborate with U.S. Army officer Bonner Fellers in "Operation Blacklist" to exonerate Hirohito and the imperial family of criminal responsibility, he came under suspicion of war crimes. In December 1945, during the last call by the Americans for alleged war criminals to report to the Americans, he took potassium cyanide poison and committed suicide. It was 1945, exactly 1300 years after his ancestor, Fujiwara no Kamatari, led a coup d'état at court during the Soga clan. His grave is at the Konoe clan cemetery at the temple of Daitoku-ji in Kyoto.

His grandson, Morihiro Hosokawa, became prime minister fifty years later.


  1. ^ Although – in accordance with the system adopted by the Japanese imperial government from the Meiji period through the end of WWII – the official English translation of Konoe's title was "prince", the title of kōshaku (公爵) was actually a closer equivalent to "duke".
  2. ^ Kazuo Yagami, Konoe Fumimaro and the Failure of Peace in Japan, 1937–1941: A Critical Appraisal of the Three-time Prime Minister (McFarland, 2006):19.
  3. ^ Macmillan, Margaret Paris 1919: Six Months That Changed the World, New York: Random House, 2007 page 317
  4. ^ Macmillan, Margaret Paris 1919: Six Months That Changed the World New York: Random House, 2007 page 487
  5. ^ Weinberg Gerhard The Foreign Policy of Hitler's Germany : Starting World War II 1937-39, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1980 page 176.
  6. ^ Weinberg Gerhard The Foreign Policy of Hitler's Germany : Starting World War II 1937-39, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1980 page 176.
  7. ^ Wakabayashi, Bob Tadashi (1991). "Emperor Hirohito on Localized Aggression in China". Sino-Japanese Studies 4 (1), p. 15.
  8. ^ Weinberg Gerhard The Foreign Policy of Hitler's Germany : Starting World War II 1937-39, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1980 page 176.
  9. ^ The Ambassador in Japan (Joseph C. Grew) to the Secretary of State, 24 June 1940, Foreign Relations of the United States, 1940, vol. IV, p. 962
  10. ^ Herbert Bix, Hirohito and the Making of Modern Japan, 2000, p.411, 745.
  11. ^ Peter Wetzler, Hirohito and War, 1999, p.35, 52–54
  12. ^ Peter Wetzler, Hirohito and War, 1998, p.41
  13. ^ Wetzler, ibid., p.44, Terasaki Hidenari, Shôwa tennô dokuhakuroku, 1991, p.118
  14. ^ Akira Fujiwara, Shôwa tennô no ju-go nen sensô, 1991, p.126, citing Tomita's diary
  15. ^ Herbert Bix, Hirohito and the Making of Modern Japan, Perennial, 2001, p.756
  16. ^ Fujita Hisanori, Jijûchô no kaisô, Chûô Kôronsha, 1987, p.66–67, Bix, ibid., p.489


  • Connors, Lesley. The Emperor's Advisor: Saionji Kinmochi and Pre-War Japanese Politics, Croom Helm, London, and Nissan Institute for Japanese Studies, University of Oxford, 1987
  • Iriye, Akira. The Origins of the Second World War in Asia and the Pacific, Longman, London and New York, 1987.
  • Jansen, Marius B. (2000). The Making of Modern Japan. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. ISBN 9780674003347; OCLC 44090600
  • Lash, Joseph P. Roosevelt and Churchill, 1939–1941, W. W. Norton and Co, New York, 1976.
  • Oka, Yoshitake. Konoe Fumimaro: A Political Biography, Translated by Shumpei Okamoto and Patricia Murray, University of Tokyo Press, Tokyo, Japan, 1983.

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Tokugawa Iesato
President of the House of Peers
June 1933 – June 1937
Succeeded by
Yorinaga Matsudaira
Preceded by
Kazushige Ugaki
Minister of Colonial Affairs
Sep 1938 – Oct 1938
Succeeded by
Yoshiaki Hatta
Preceded by
Kazushige Ugaki
Minister for Foreign Affairs
Sept 1938 – Oct 1938
Succeeded by
Hachirō Arita
Preceded by
Senjūrō Hayashi
Prime Minister of Japan
Jun 1937 – Jan 1939
Succeeded by
Kiichirō Hiranuma
Preceded by
Kiichirō Hiranuma
President of the Privy Council of Japan
Jan 1939 – June 1940
Succeeded by
Yoshimichi Hara
Preceded by
Mitsumasa Yonai
Prime Minister of Japan
Jul 1940 – Oct 1941
Succeeded by
Hideki Tōjō
Preceded by
Heisuke Yanagawa
Minister of Justice
Jul 1941
Succeeded by
Michiyo Iwamura
1937 Japanese general election

General elections were held in Japan on 31 March 1937. Rikken Minseitō emerged as the largest in Parliament, with 179 of the 466 seats. The election was a major victory for the Shakai Taishūtō, which became the third-largest party in the Diet. It was the first socialist party to do so in Japanese history. In contrast, the mildly pro-military Rikken Minseitō lost several seats and fascist groups such as Tōhōkai remained minor forces in the House. A month after the election, the Emperor replaced Hayashi with Fumimaro Konoe. Voter turnout was 73.3%.

1938 in Japan

Events in the year 1938 in Japan. It corresponds to Shōwa 13 (昭和13年) in the Japanese calendar.

1939 in Japan

Events in the year 1939 in Japan.

Hakkō ichiu

Hakkō ichiu (八紘一宇, "eight crown cords, one roof" i.e. "all the world under one roof") was a Japanese political slogan that became popular from the Second Sino-Japanese War to World War II, and was popularized in a speech by Prime Minister of Japan Fumimaro Konoe on January 8, 1940.

Hidemaro Konoye

Viscount Hidemaro Konoye (近衛 秀麿, Konoe Hidemaro, 18 November 1898 – 2 June 1973) was a conductor and composer of classical music in Shōwa period Japan. He was the younger brother of pre-war Japanese Prime Minister Fumimaro Konoe.

Hotsumi Ozaki

Hotsumi Ozaki (尾崎 秀実, Ozaki Hotsumi, April 29, 1901 – November 7, 1944) was an Imperial Japanese journalist working for the Asahi Shimbun newspaper, communist, Soviet Union intelligence agent, and an advisor to Prime Minister Fumimaro Konoe. The only Japanese person to be hanged for treason (under the guise of the Peace Preservation Law) by the Japanese government during World War II, Ozaki is well known as an informant of the Soviet agent Richard Sorge.

House of Peers (Japan)

The House of Peers (貴族院, Kizoku-in) was the upper house of the Imperial Diet as mandated under the Constitution of the Empire of Japan (in effect from 11 February 1889 to 3 May 1947).

Ikeda Shigeaki

Ikeda Shigeaki (池田成彬, 15 August 1867 – 9 October 1950), also known as Seihin Ikeda, was a politician, cabinet minister and businessman in the Empire of Japan, prominent in the early decades of the 20th century. He served as director of Mitsui Bank from 1909-1933, was appointed governor of the Bank of Japan in 1937, and served as Minister of Finance under Prime Minister Fumimaro Konoe from 1937 to 1939. In 1941, he was made a member of the Imperial Privy Council; following Japan's defeat in World War II, Ikeda was banned from public political service.

Imperial Rule Assistance Association

The Imperial Rule Assistance Association (大政翼贊會/大政翼賛会, Taisei Yokusankai), or Imperial Aid Association, was Japan's wartime organization created by Prime Minister Fumimaro Konoe on October 12, 1940, to promote the goals of his Shintaisei ("New Order") movement. It evolved into a "statist" ruling political party which aimed at removing the sectionalism in the politics and economics in the Empire of Japan to create a totalitarian one-party state, in order to maximize the efficiency of Japan's total war effort in China. When the organization was launched officially, Konoe was hailed as a "political savior" of a nation in chaos; however, internal divisions soon appeared.


Konoe (written: 近衛 or 近衞) is a Japanese surname. It is sometimes spelled "Konoye" based on historical kana usage. Notable people with the surname include:

Emperor Konoe (近衛天皇, 1139–1155), the 76th emperor of Japan

Konoe Atsumaro (近衛 篤麿, 1863–1904), Japanese politician and journalist

Fumimaro Konoe (近衞 文麿, 1891–1945), Japanese politician and the 34th, 38th and 39th Prime Minister of Japan

Konoe Fusatsugu (近衛 房嗣, 1402–1488), Japanese kugyō

Hidemaro Konoye (近衛 秀麿, 1898–1973), Japanese classical composer and conductor

Konoe Hisamichi (近衛 尚通, 1472–1544), Japanese kugyō

Konoe Hisatsugu (近衛 尚嗣, 1622–1653), Japanese kugyō

Konoe Iehira (近衛 家平, 1282–1324), Japanese kugyō

Konoe Iehiro (近衛 家熈, 1667–1736), Japanese kugyō

Konoe Iehisa (近衛 家久, 1687–1737), Japanese kugyō

Konoe Iemoto (近衛 家基, 1261–1296), Japanese kugyō

Konoe Iezane (近衛 家実, 1179–1243), Japanese kugyō

Konoe Kanetsugu (近衛 兼嗣, 1360–1388), Japanese kugyō

Konoe Kanetsune (近衛 兼経, 1210–1259), Japanese kugyō

Jūshirō Konoe (近衛 十四郎, 1914–1977), Japanese actor

Konoe Masaie (近衛 政家, 1445–1505), Japanese kugyō

Konoe Michitsugu (近衛 道嗣, 1333–1387), Japanese kugyō

Konoe Motohira (近衛 基平, 1246–1268), Japanese kugyō

Konoe Motohiro (近衛 基熈, 1648–1722), Japanese kugyō

Konoe Motomichi (近衛 基通, 1160–1233), Japanese kugyō

Konoe Motosaki (近衛 基前, 1783–1820), Japanese kugyō

Konoe Mototsugu (近衛 基嗣, 1305–1354), Japanese kugyō

Konoe Motozane (近衛 基実, 1143–1166), Japanese kugyō

Konoe Nobuhiro (近衛 信尋, 1599–1649), Japanese kugyō

Konoe Nobutada (近衛 信尹, 1565–1614), Japanese courtier, poet, calligrapher, painter and diarist

Konoe Sakihisa (近衛 前久, 1536–1612), Japanese kuge

Konoe Tadafusa (近衛 忠房, 1838–1873), Japanese kugyō

Konoe Tadahiro (近衛 忠熙, 1808–1898), Japanese kugyō

Konoe Tadatsugu (近衛 忠嗣, 1383–1454), Japanese kugyō

Konoe Taneie (近衛 稙家, 1503–1566), Japanese kugyō

Tadateru Konoe (近衛 忠煇, born 1939), president of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies

Konoe Tsunehira (近衛 経平, 1287–1318), Japanese kugyō

Konoe Tsunehiro (近衛 経熙, 1761–1799), Japanese kugyō

Konoe Tsunetada (近衛 経忠, 1302–1352), Japanese kugyō

Konoe Uchisaki (近衛 内前, 1728–1785), Japanese kugyō

Yasuko Konoe (近衛 甯子, born 1944), Japanese princess

Konoe Atsumaro

Duke Konoe Atsumaro (近衛 篤麿, August 10, 1863 – January 1, 1904) was a Japanese politician and journalist of the Meiji era. He served as the 3rd President of the House of Peers and 7th President of the Gakushūin Peer's School in Meiji period Japan. He was also the father of Prime Minister Fumimaro Konoe.

Konoe family

Konoe family (近衛家, Konoe-ke) is a Japanese aristocratic kin group. The Konoe is a branch of the Fujiwara clan.

League of Diet Members Supporting the Prosecution of the Holy War

The League of Diet Members Supporting the Prosecution of the Holy War (聖戦貫徹議員連盟, Seisen Kantetsu Giin Renmei) was a political party coalition in the lower house of the Diet of Japan formed on March 25, 1940, with the backing of the Imperial Japanese Army as a reaction against a speech made by Saitō Takao, of the Rikken Minseitō critical of the government’s aggressive policies in the Second Sino-Japanese War.The official establishment took measures, including setting up this group, and attempted to censor public "doubting". The speaker was censured in Parliament, and expelled from the chamber (and from his own party), to make an example

Its membership comprised a total of 250 active members in the lower house, which represented all political parties of the period. This grouping pushed for its members to be considered as "loyal" politicians in the militarists cause, differing from Saitō, who was accused of being a traitor to nation and the real values of the country.

The grouping published an open declaration: "We welcome the four years of sacred campaigning, in which the gallant actions of our soldiers, with the zeal and support of the people on the home front, have aimed to deliver a fatal blow to the corrupt Chiang Kai-shek regime, and have created within the Chinese masses a sentiment in favour of Japan and desires of peace"

This temporary grouping played into the hands of Prime Minister Fumimaro Konoe, whose efforts to create a one-party state were buoyed by a willingness of senior leaders of the traditional political parties to dissolve their own parties into a new organization headed by Konoe, provided that he would be able to moderate the extremism of the radicals, but still satisfy the demands of the military. The League was formally disbanded on June 11, 1940.

National Mobilization Law

National Mobilization Law (国家総動員法, Kokka Sōdōin Hō) was legislated in the Diet of Japan by Prime Minister Fumimaro Konoe on 24 March 1938 to put the national economy of the Empire of Japan on war-time footing after the start of the Second Sino-Japanese War.

The National Mobilization Law had fifty clauses, which provided for government controls over civilian organizations (including labor unions), nationalization of strategic industries, price controls and rationing, and nationalized the news media. The laws gave the government the authority to use unlimited budgets to subsidize war production, and to compensate manufacturers for losses caused by war-time mobilization. Eighteen of the fifty articles outlined penalties for violators.

The law was attacked as unconstitutional when introduced to the Diet in January 1938, but was passed due to strong pressure from the military and took effect from May 1938. It was abolished on 20 December 1945 by the American occupation authorities after the surrender of Japan.

The National Service Draft Ordinance (国民徴用令, Kokumin Choyo rei) was a supplemental law promulgated by Prime Minister Konoe as part of the National Mobilization Law. It empowered the government to draft civilian workers to ensure an adequate supply of labor in strategic war industries, with exceptions allowed only in the case of the physically handicapped or mentally handicapped.

The program was organized under the Ministry of Welfare, and at its peak 1,600,000 men and women were drafted, and 4,500,000 workers were reclassified as draftees (and thus were unable to quit their jobs). The Ordinance was superseded by the National Labor Service Mobilization Law in March 1945, which was in turn abolished on 20 December 1945 by the Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers after the surrender of Japan.

National Spiritual Mobilization Movement

The National Spiritual Mobilization Movement (国民精神総動員運動, Kokumin Seishin Sōdōin Undō) was an organization established in the Empire of Japan as part of the controls on civilian organizations under the National Mobilization Law by Prime Minister Fumimaro Konoe.

Representatives from 74 nationalist organizations were assembled at the Prime Minister's residence in October 1937, and were told that their organizations were now part of the "Central League of the Spiritual Mobilization Movement," headed by Admiral Ryokitsu Arima and under the joint supervision of the Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of Education. The purpose of the Movement would be to rally the nation for a total war effort against China in the Second Sino-Japanese War.

Konoe later ordered another 19 nationalist organizations to join the League. This movement and other policies were part of "New Order" (Shintaisei) which was promulgated on 3 November 1938, a holiday marking emperor Meiji's birthday.Apart from public calls for increased patriotism, the National Spiritual Mobilization Movement spanned some concrete programs like Boosting Production service to the Nation, Increasing Crops Service to the Nation and Student Volunteers Corps Service to the Nation. It was moreover part of a general move made by the Shōwa regime to closely control the information which had begun in 1936 with the establishment of the Cabinet Information Committee which launched two official magazines : the Shūhō (Weekly Report) in November 1936 and the Shashin Shūhō (Photographic Weekly Report). The purpose of these was "to ensure that the content and purport of the policies inaugurated by the Government are widely disseminated to the general citizenry and correctly understood by them".Konoe's successor, Prime Minister Kiichiro Hiranuma, turned the movement over to General Sadao Araki in January 1939, who revitalized it by having it sponsor public rallies, radio programs, printed propaganda and discussion seminars at tonarigumi neighborhood associations. Famous public figures were recruited to provide lectures on the virtues of thrift, hygiene and hard work, and to disseminate a sense of national pride in the Japanese kokutai.

The League was abolished on 20 December 1945 by the American occupation authorities after the surrender of Japan.

Saitō Takao (politician)

Saitō Takao (斎藤 隆夫, September 13, 1870 – October 7, 1949) was a Japanese politician and longtime member of the Imperial Diet from Hyōgo Prefecture. He was a member of the Rikken Minseito party. On February 2, 1940, he made a speech in which he sharply questioned the prosecution and justification of Japan's "holy war" in China. For this, he was expelled from the Diet on March 7, 1940. His speech also led to the creation of the League of Diet Members Believing the Objectives of the Holy War by Fumimaro Konoe. Saitō would be re-elected to the Diet in 1942. After the surrender of Japan in 1945, he was one of the politicians that participated in the Allied Occupation's efforts to democratize Japan.

Trautmann mediation

The Trautmann Mediation was an attempt by the German Ambassador to China, Oskar Trautmann, to broker a peace between Japanese Prime Minister Fumimaro Konoe and Chiang Kai-shek of the Chinese Kuomintang Government shortly after the Second Sino-Japanese War began. The mediation began in November 1937 and ended on January 16, 1938 with Konoe's rejection announcement.

Yorinaga Matsudaira

Count Yorinaga Matsudaira (松平頼寿, 10 December 1874 – 13 September 1944) was a Japanese political figure of the late Meiji through early Shōwa periods, and served as President of the House of Peers in the Diet of Japan.

Yōmei Bunko

Yōmei Bunko (陽明文庫), located in Utanokaminotanicho, Ukyō-ku, Kyoto, is an historical archive containing approximately 100,000 objects collected over the centuries by the Konoe family, the foremost of the five regent houses (go-sekke, 五摂家) of the imperial court nobility. The collection includes manuscripts, books, records, journals, letters, and antique works of art. In 1938, the Yōmei Bunko Foundation was established in its current location near Ninnaji Temple in northwest Kyoto by Fumimaro Konoe (近衛文麿, 1891 - 1945), then head of the family and prime minister of Japan. Materials preserved in the archive illustrate over 1,000 years of Japan’s history, ranging from the "Midō Kanpaku-ki", the diary in his own hand of Fujiwara no Michinaga (藤原道長, 966 - 1028), one of the ancestors of the Konoe family, to 20th century materials relating to Fumimaro Konoe himself. The work of the archive includes making the collection available to researchers, conducting its own research, loaning items to exhibitions, and publishing facsimiles.In April 2012, Yōmei Bunko changed its legal status to become a public interest incorporated foundation.

Ancestors of Fumimaro Konoe
16. Konoe Tsunehiro
8. Konoe Motosaki
17. Princess Arisugawa Tadako
4. Konoe Tadahiro
18. Matsudaira Yoshimasa
9. Kotohime
2. Konoe Atsumaro
1. Fumimaro Konoe
24. Maeda Narinaga
12. Maeda Nariyasu
6. Maeda Yoshiyasu
26. Tokugawa Ienari
13. Tokugawa Tomoko
27. Senkōin
3. Maeda Sawako
Empire of Japan, 1868–1947
State of Japan, 1947–present

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