The Transition of the Political Leadership of the Japanese Navy in the 1930s: Fushiminomiya Hiroyasu and Yonai Mitsumasa
291 , 2016-03 , 福井工業高等専門学校
It is evident that the political leadership of the Japanese Navy moved from the Naval General Staff composed of the 'Fleet Faction' to the Naval Ministry led by Yonai Mitsumasa in the 1930s, but the process of this transition and the factors behind it are not clear. This article takes up these issues, focusing on the differences between the Chief of the Naval General Staff, Fushiminomiya Hiroyasu, and the leader of the 'Fleet Faction', Kato Hiroharu. In the Imperial Navy of the early 1930s, the Naval General Staff led by Kato Hiroharu pursued the goals of strengthening the independence of the Supreme Command and unifying the Navy. Fushiminomiya was put forward as the chief of the Naval General Staff by the head of the 'Fleet Faction' in order to unify the Navy, and his infl uence in this position was extremely strong. Although Fushiminomiya sympathized with policies of the 'Fleet Faction', he had a different opinion concerning staff ransfers. As the same time, the 'Fleet Faction' was criticized in the Navy for politically utilizing the imperial family and politicizing the Naval General Staff. As a result, the 'Fleet Faction' lost its unifying position in the Navy. Fushiminomiya nominated Yonai Mitsumasa as the Navy Minister of the Hayashi Senjyuro cabinet, and later persuaded Yonai to continue in the post under the Konoe Fumimaro cabinet. These events demonstrate that Fushiminomiya's personality and attitude were the main factors behind the transition of the political leadership of the Navy in the 1930s.