Yōsuke Matsuoka

Yosuke Matsuoka (Japanese, * 3 March 1880 in Kumage-gun (now Murotsumi, Hikari), † 26 June 1946 in Tokyo) was Japan’s foreign minister in the cabinet of Prime Minister Konoe Fumimaro.


After his early years in Japan Matsuoka traveled to the United States and studied at the University of Oregon law. He completed his studies with success in 1900.

Matsuoka was a devout Christian and attended diligently the Bible study offered at the college n In addition, he took for himself claim to have met the Democratic presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan.

After Matsuoka had returned to Japan, he took a job in the foreign service. There he remained for eighteen years, and was then President of the südmanschurischen railway.

For the first time Matsuoka Yosuke came to the attention of the world public, as in 1933 the withdrawal of Japan from the League announced and his delegation led out of the boardroom. This happened because the Lytton Commission of the covenant were the Japanese action in Manchuria criticized.

1940 appointed him to the newly elected Prime Minister Konoe Fumimaro as foreign minister in his cabinet. Matsuoka was a great supporter of the alliance with Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy, the powerful support he saw as a perfect balance against the United States. Therefore, Matsuoka was also one of the most active initiators for the Tripartite Pact of 1940.

In April 1941, he signed in Moscow in the Soviet-Japanese Neutrality Pact. After Germany, the USSR on 22 Was attacked in June 1941 (the war against the Soviet Union 1941-1945), Adolf Hitler Matsuoka suggested at a meeting that Japan should participate in a second front in the east of it. Matsuoka was very impressed by this suggestion and began, Prime Minister Konoe and the leadership of the Imperial Japanese Army and Navy to harass this regard. But the Army and Navy as well as the government decided to focus first on targets in Southeast Asia.

Despite all odds Matsuoka Yosuke stuck to his guns, which he continued to represent the public. Compared to the U.S., his diplomatic approach was more reckless, because he suspected that Japan wanted to impose a war. Konoe, who was interested in a peaceful solution on the contrary, decided together with the military leadership, to separate from Matsuoka. When in July 1941 the entire cabinet resigned, this also affected foreign minister Yosuke Matsuoka. Konoe, who was then recommissioned right to form a government, then decided not to stand for re-establishment Matsuoka. New foreign minister Admiral Toyoda Teijiro.

Matsuoka Yosuke came in 1945 in American captivity and was indicted in 1945 in the Tokyo war crimes processes n. But even before his case could be finished negotiating, Matsuoka died on 26 Juni 1946.


•An address on Manchuria: Its past and present, 1929

•Japan’s interests, rights and responsibilities in the Far East, Japanese Chamber of Commerce of New York, 1934


•David J. Lu, Agony of Choice: Matsuoka Yosuke and the Rise and Fall of the Japanese Empire, 1880-1946, Lexington Books, 2003, ISBN 978-0739104583

Minister of Foreign Affairs (Japan)

Colonial Secretary (Japan)

Member of the Shūgiin


Born in 1880

Died in 1946


You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Leave a Reply

Powered by WordPress