11 Facts About Home Ministry


Home Ministry was a Cabinet-level ministry established under the Meiji Constitution that managed the internal affairs of Empire of Japan from 1873 to 1947.

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The Home Ministry was established as government department in November 1873, initially as an internal security agency to deal with possible threats to the government from increasingly disgruntled ex-samurai, and political unrest spawned by the Seikanron debate.

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The head of the Home Ministry was referred to as the "Home Lord" and effectively functioned as the Head of Government.

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Home Ministry initially had the responsibility for promoting local industry, but this duty was taken over by the Ministry of Agriculture and Commerce in 1881.

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In 1885, with the establishment of the cabinet system, the Home Ministry was reorganized by Yamagata Aritomo, who became the first Home Minister.

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In 1936, an Information and Propaganda Committee was created within the Home Ministry, which issued all official press statements, and which worked together with the Publications Monitoring Department on censorship issues.

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In 1937, jointly with the Ministry of Education, the Home Ministry administered the National Spiritual Mobilization Movement, and the Home Ministry assisted in implementation of the National Mobilization Law in 1938 to place Japan on a total war footing.

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Also in 1940, with the formation of the Taisei Yokusankai political party, the Home Ministry strengthened its efforts to monitor and control political dissent, through enforcement of the tonarigumi system, which was used to coordinate civil defense activities through World War II.

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In 1942, the Ministry of Colonial Affairs was abolished, and the Home Ministry extended its influence to Japanese external territories.

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However, by October 1945, the scope of activities of the Home Ministry was increasingly limited, with the disestablishment of State Shinto and the abolishment of the Tokko, and with censorship and monitoring of labor union activities taken under direct American supervision.

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Home Ministry was formally abolished on 31 December 1947, and its functions dispersed to the Ministry of Home Affairs, now the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, Ministry of Health and Welfare, now the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, National Public Safety Commission, Ministry of Construction, now the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport.

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