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Born Feb. 25, 1835, in Kagoshima; died July 2, 1924, in Tokyo. Japanese statesman.
Matsukata was a descendant of samurai from the Satsuma principality. He was a leader in instituting the bourgeois reforms of the 1870’s and 1880’s, and his name is connected with the creation of the finance system of capitalist Japan. Matsukata was twice prime minister, from May 1891 to August 1892 and from September 1896 to December 1897. As genro (elder statesman) from 1898 to 1924, he had an influence on the government’s domestic and foreign policy.