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Koiso Kuniaki (1880-1950)


Photograph of General Koiso Kuniaki

Wikimedia Commons

Koiso Kuniaki was on the Japanese Army's retired list when war broke out but was made Governor-General of Korea in June 1942. He was selected as Prime Minister to replace Tojo after the latter fell from power in July 1944. He did so with the understanding that he was to share power with Yonai. Among his reforms was the replacement of the Liaison Conference with the Supreme Council for the Direction of the War, which included the prime minister, foreign minister, two service chiefs, and two chiefs of staff. This significantly reduced the Army's hold on the government.

Koiso sought a separate peace with China, which he hoped would lead to negotiations with the other Allies. A minister of the puppet Nanking government, Miao Pin, offered to act as an intermediary with Chiang Kai-shek, but his questionable bona fides and the obstinacy of the Japanese Army meant that this went nowhere.

Koiso could satisfy neither the "hawks" nor the "doves", and he resigned after the invasion of Okinawa when Sugiyama blocked his attempt to be restored to active duty so that he could serve as his own War Minister.

Koiso was a relatively moderate officer who, as commander of Korea Army in 1938, had advocated a restrained response to the Soviet occupation of Changkufeng in the Korean-Manchurian-Russian border area. Nevertheless, he was sentenced to life in prison for his part in starting the war in China and for failing to put an end to war crimes after becoming Prime Minister.

Service record

1880      
     
Born
1918
Colonel     
12 Division
1919

General Staff
1921

Army Aeronautical Department
1923

Instructor, War College
1923

Commander, 51 Regiment
1925

Chief, 1 Section, 1 Bureau, General Staff
1926

Instructor, War College
1927

Head, General Affairs Bureau, Army Aeronautical Department
1929

Head, Economic Mobilization Bureau, Ministry of War
1930

Head, Military Affairs Bureau, Ministry of War
1932-2-29     
Lieutenant General     
Vice-Minister of War
1932-8-8

Chief of staff, Kwantung Army, Manchuria
1934-3-5

Commander, 5 Division
1935-12-2

Commander, Korea Army
1938

General Staff
1938-7
General Retires
1939-4

Minister of Overseas Affairs
1942-6-15

Governor-General of Korea
1944-7-18     

Prime Minister
1945-4-4

Resigns as Prime Minister
1945

Arrested as war criminal
1948

Condemned to life in prison
1950

Dies

References

Generals.dk (accessed 2008-4-4)

Goldman (2012)

Hoyt (1993)

Pettibone (2007)



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