Katsura, Taro

Katsura, Taro

(tärō` kät`so͞orä), 1847–1913, Japanese statesman. A Choshu clansman, and a protégé of Aritomo YamagataYamagata, Aritomo
, 1838–1922, Japanese soldier and statesman, chief founder of the modern Japanese army. A samurai of Choshu, he took part in the Meiji restoration. He studied military science in Europe and returned in 1870 to head the war ministry.
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, he served as war minister, then (1901–6) as prime minister. During that administration, with the Anglo-Japanese Alliance in 1902 and the defeat (1904–5) of Russia, Japan emerged as the major power in East Asia and gained effective control over Korea. In the Taft-Katsura agreement of 1905, the United States recognized that control. In 1906, Katsura resigned because of public dissatisfaction with the Portsmouth Treaty. As prime minister again (1908–11), he annexed Korea and engaged in a struggle with the Diet over expansion of the military budget. His reappointment as prime minister in 1912, after the overthrow of Kimmochi SaionjiSaionji, Kimmochi, Prince
, 1850–1940, Japanese statesman. He took part in the Meiji restoration, then spent 10 years in France, absorbing many democratic ideas. In 1882 he accompanied his friend and patron, Prince Ito, to Europe to study foreign governments.
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 for failure to approve increased army spending, was widely interpreted as an example of genrogenro
[ Jap.,=elder statesmen], a group that exercised collective leadership in Japan from the end of the Meiji period until c.1932. After the Meiji restoration (1868), Westernizers from the former Choshu and Satsuma domains came to power, abolishing feudalism and modernizing
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 manipulation. The major parliamentary parties united in opposition, organized mass demonstrations, and passed a nonconfidence motion. Katsura lost support of the genro when he attempted to form a new party and sought imperial intervention to rescind the nonconfidence motion. He was forced to resign.

Katsura, Taro

 

Born Nov. 28, 1847, in Yamaguchi Prefecture; died Oct. 10, 1913, in Tokyo. Japanese statesman and general.

Katsura was a descendant of the samurai of the principality of Choshu. He was army minister from 1898 to 1900 and prime minister from 1901 to 1905, from 1908 to 1911, and in 1912 and 1913. Katsura was one of the initiators of the Anglo-Japanese alliance. With the assistance of Great Britain and the USA, Katsura’s government unleashed a war against Russia in 1904–05.

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