Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Great Figures in Kochi - Osachi Hamaguchi (1870-1931)

   Osachi Hamaguchi, one of the greatest politicians from Kochi Prefecture was prime minister of Japan in the early Showa period.

   He was born into a samurai family at Godaisan in Kochi City in 1870, and was subsequently adopted by the Hamaguchi family – a financially powerful farming family in Tano-cho. He graduated from the Department of Political Science of Tokyo University, and held the posts of finance minister and prime minister. He was referred to as the “Lion Prime Minister” because of his appearance.

   The main achievements of the Hamaguchi Cabinet are as follows.
   -The ban on the export of gold was lifted as away to counter deflation and the gold standard was finally restored.
   -Improvements in relations with China and cooperative diplomacy promotion with England and America.
   -Dispatch of a delegation with full authority to the London Naval Conference held in 1930 and the conclusion of a disarmament treaty.

   Unfortunately, he was shot at Tokyo Station by a young right-winger who disapproved of the ratification of the London Treaty and the cabinet’s attempts to reign in the power of the military. He passed away the following year at the age of 62.

   His statue is situated in Godaisan Park which is located near the Kochi Prefectural Makino Botanical Garden and Chikurinji Temple (about 15 minutes from JR Kochi Station by car).

Taken from vol.26 PDF

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