Mitsumasa Yonai

Also found in: Wikipedia.

Yonai, Mitsumasa


Born 1880, in Iwate Prefecture; died 1948. Japanese admiral and statesman. Graduate of the Naval Academy.

Yonai was commander of the Japanese Navy in 1936, minister of the navy from 1937 to 1939, and prime minister from January to July 1940. He became deputy prime minister and minister of the navy in July 1944 and was minister of the navy from April to August 1945.

References in periodicals archive ?
Two points brought relief, at least among the relative moderates: Prime Minister Kantaro Suzuki, Minister for Foreign Affairs Shigenori Togo, and Minister of the Navy Mitsumasa Yonai. First, the Soviet Union was not a signatory.
The armed conflicts between the governing factions led to the dismissal of the General Nobuyuki Abe's office on January 1940 and his substitution by a government led by Admiral Mitsumasa Yonai, having A.
In that sense the atomic bombs and the Soviet intervention were "gifts from the gods," in the words of navy minister Mitsumasa Yonai. Available private records indicate that in the emperor's mind what mattered were Japan's domestic situation, its lack of military capacity to resist invasion, and the tremendous destruction done by the conventional and atomic bombing.
Koichi Kido, the Emperor's most trusted confidant, argued that "tens of millions of innocent people would suffer as a result of air raids and starvation." Mitsumasa Yonai, the Navy Minister, stated that "The atomic bombs and the Soviet entry into the war are, in a sense, God's gifts, since they provided an excuse to end the war.