Saionji Kimmochi

Saionji Kimmochi

▪ prime minister of Japan
in full  Kōshaku (Prince) Saionji Kimmochi 
born Dec. 7, 1849, Kyōto, Japan
died Nov. 24, 1940, Okitsu

      the longest-surviving member of the oligarchy that governed Japan after the Meiji Restoration (1868), which had overthrown the ruling Tokugawa family and formally reestablished the authority of the emperor. As prime minister and elder statesman ( genro), he attempted to moderate his country's increasing militarism.

      Saionji was born into the old court nobility. After studying in France, he returned to Japan in 1881 and founded the Tōyō Jiyū Shimbun (“Oriental Free Press”), a newspaper dedicated to popularizing democratic ideas. But journalism was considered a scandalous profession for a court noble; hence his colleagues prevailed on the emperor to force Saionji to leave the newspaper and join government service, in which he soon rose to high position.

      He became one of the principal organizers and later president (1903) of the Rikken Seiyūkai (“Friends of Constitutional Government”), the major political party in Japan at that time, and he served as prime minister in 1901–02, 1906–08, and 1911–12. During his years in office he attempted to curtail military expenditures and pushed for party control of the cabinet. He retired from party politics and government office in 1912, although in 1919 he headed Japan's delegation at the Versailles Peace Conference, which ended World War I.

      Saionji spent the last 25 years of his life as a genro, an honour reserved for the exclusive group of leaders who had participated in the Meiji Restoration and who had also served as prime ministers. As such he was a close and trusted adviser of the emperor. Because of his moderating influence on ultranationalistic and militaristic trends in pre-World War II Japan, right-wing fanatics in the 1930s made several unsuccessful attempts to assassinate him.

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Universalium. 2010.

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  • Saionji —   [ dʒi], Kimmochi, Fürst (seit 1920), japanischer Politiker, * Kyōto 23. 10. 1849, ✝ Okitsu (Präfektur Shizuoka) 24. 11. 1940; seit 1900 Vorsitzende des Geheimen Staatsrats; leitete 1903 14 die Seiyukai. 1906 08 und 1911 12 war er… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Saionji — biographical name Prince Kimmochi 1849 1940 Japanese statesman …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Saionji — /suy awn jee /, n. Kimmochi /keem maw chee /, 1849 1940, Japanese statesman. * * * …   Universalium

  • Saionji — /ˈsaɪɒndʒi/ (say suyonjee) noun Kimmochi /kiˈmoʊtʃi/ (say kee mohchee), 1849–1940, Japanese politician; prime minister 1901–02, 1906–08, 1911–12 …  

  • Saionji — /suy awn jee /, n. Kimmochi /keem maw chee /, 1849 1940, Japanese statesman …   Useful english dictionary

  • Kabinett Saionji II — Das zweite Kabinett Saionji (jap. 第2次西園寺内閣, dai niji Saionji naikaku) regierte Japan unter Führung von Premierminister Saionji Kimmochi vom 30. August 1911 bis zum 21. Dezember 1912. Das 2. Kabinett von Premierminister Katsura Tarō hatte sich… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Genrō — Itō Hirobumi, der erste Genrō Saionji Kimmochi, der letzte Genrō Genrō (jap …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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