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Ministry of Greater East Asia

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10 sen Japanese postage stamp depicting a map of the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere

The Ministry of Greater East Asia (大東亜省, Daitōashō) was a cabinet-level ministry in the government of the Empire of Japan from 1942 to 1945, established to administer overseas territories obtained by Japan in the Pacific War and to coordinate the establishment and development of the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere.

History and development[edit]

The Ministry of Greater East Asia was established on 1 November 1942 under the administration of Prime Minister Hideki Tōjō, by absorbing the earlier Ministry of Colonial Affairs (拓務省, Takumushō) and merging it with the East Asia Department and South Pacific Department of the Foreign Ministry and the East Asia Development Board (興亜院, Kōain), which looked after affairs in Japanese-occupied China.

Theoretically, the ministry had political and administrative responsibilities in a vast 4.4-million-square-kilometer (1.7-million-square-mile) area under Japanese influence (extending south 7,200 kilometers (4,500 miles) from the Aleutians to the Solomon Islands, and west 8,000 km (5,000 mi) from Wake Island to Burma and the Andamans), with perhaps a population of over 300 million inhabitants. In reality, wartime conditions meant that the ministry was little more than a paper creation. Aside from the first Minister of Greater East Asia, Kazuo Aoki, all succeeding ministers simultaneously held the portfolio of the Foreign Minister.

The Ministry of Greater East Asia was abolished on 26 August 1945 by order of the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers after the surrender of Japan brought an end to Japan's overseas holdings.

List of Ministers of Greater East Asia[edit]

Portrait Name Term of office Cabinet
1 Kazuo Aoki.jpg Kazuo Aoki
青木 一男
1 November
1942
22 July
1944
Tōjō
2 Shigemitsu Mamoru.jpg Mamoru Shigemitsu
重光 葵
22 July
1944
7 April
1945
Koiso
3 Kantaro Suzuki suit.jpg Kantarō Suzuki
鈴木 貫太郎
7 April
1945
9 April
1945
Suzuki
4 Shigenori Togo.jpg Shigenori Tōgō
東郷茂徳
9 April
1945
17 August
1945
5 Shigemitsu Mamoru.jpg Mamoru Shigemitsu
重光 葵
17 August
1945
25 August
1945
Higashikuni

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  • Beasley, W.G. (1991). Japanese Imperialism 1894-1945. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-822168-1.
  • Lebra, Joyce Chapman (1975). Japan's Greater East Asia Co-prosperity in World War II. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-638265-3.
  • Myers, Raymond; Mark R Peattie (1987). The Japanese Colonial Empire, 1895-1945. Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691-10222-8.

External links[edit]