Takahashi Korekiyo

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Takahashi Korekiyo

Takahashi Korekiyo ( Japanese 高橋 是 清 ; * July 27, 1854 in Edo (today: Tokyo ); † February 26, 1936 ) was a Japanese politician and the 20th Prime Minister of Japan from November 13, 1921 to June 12, 1922 . He was known as a financial expert.

Takahashi studied English and American Culture at James Hepburn's Private School in Yokohama . He then went abroad with a son of Katsu Kaishū and studied in London , since 1867 in the USA. After he returned to Japan, he became director of a school called Kyōritsu gakkō , now the Kaisei High School in Osaka , in 1875 . He worked in the Ministry of Education and later in the Ministry of Agriculture and Trade. He was appointed chief executive of the Patent Office, which was established as an external department of the Ministry of Agriculture and Trade, and regulated the patent system in Japan. In 1890 he resigned from this position and traveled to Peru to exploit a silver mine, where he was betrayed by a German swindler. After returning to Japan, he was appointed Vice President and later President of the Bank of Japan in 1891 . In 1904 he was sent to the USA and England to procure foreign bonds, where he met Max Warburg .

In 1913 he was appointed Minister of Finance by Prime Minister Yamamoto Gonnohyōe and joined the Seiyūkai party . In 1918 , he was reappointed Minister of Finance by Prime Minister Hara Takashi . After Hara was assassinated in 1921, Takahashi became Prime Minister and President of the Seiyūkai. Members of the party were very upset about this, and Takahashi was not prepared for these two offices. That is why he resigned from his post as prime minister after only six months. He kept the party chairmanship until 1925. 1927.

From 1931 to 1936 he again served as Minister of Finance. During the global economic crisis , he recognized the opportunities that deficit spending offered with flexible exchange rates. His writings show that he had already recognized the Keynesian multiplier mechanism . He made sure that the Bank of Japan suspended the gold standard on December 17, 1931, lowered the discount rate to about a third of its original value from 1932 to 1936, and saw bare bills being issued in large quantities to devalue the yen and increase exports stimulate. This operation is considered to be one of the most brilliant and successful combinations of financial, monetary and currency policy of the 20th century. However, the increase in the state quota to 38% of gross domestic product that he initiated did not meet the demands of the militarists.

In terms of foreign policy, he advocated cooperation with the West, an end to the destabilization of China. With the proposal of an alliance with the Republic of China against the Soviet Union , he opposed the strategy of the military. He also advocated a reduction in armaments spending. The reforms led to a recovery in the urban economy. However, incomes and living standards in rural areas were spared this boom. Takahasi's reforms are considered to be the first implementation of Keynesianism before they were introduced into US politics after World War II. However, the politically influential military leadership elite of the empire prevailed on the military budget, which increased the budget several times at their will during Takahashi's tenure. The military advocated a centralized, planned economy tailored to the needs of the armed forces. They attributed the upswing under Takahashi to the expansion of the economy in Manchuria, which was occupied in 1931. Takahasi accused the military of overlooking the real basis of a successful war economy by rejecting the market economy.

In the attempted coup on February 26, 1936 , Takahashi was killed as one of three cabinet members.

The Takahashi Korekiyo Memorial Park was established in his memory .


  • Richard J. Smethurst: From Good Soldier to Finance Minister. Takahashi Korekiyo, Japan's Keynes . Harvard University Press, Cambridge (Massachusetts), Massachusetts, USA 2007.

Web links

Commons : Takahashi Korekiyo  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. a b c S.CM Paine: The Japanese Empire: Grand Strategy from the Meiji Restoration to the Pacific War. Cambridge, 2017, pp. 120f
  2. ^ Charles P. Kindleberger, The Great Depression . History of the World Economy in the 20th Century, Vol. 4, ed. by Wolfram Fischer , Munich: dtv 1973, p. 174 f.