Kinmochi Saionji

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Prince Kinmochi Saionji (1849-1940) was a Japanese publisher, politician, and eventually Prime Minister of Japan. He was the last of the genro, or senior statesmen, from the Meiji era, who advised Emperor Hirohito. He was a volunteer soldier during the Meiji Restoration, after which he studied in Paris, returning at the age of 32.

Starting a daily paper at Tokyo, "and proclaimed himself a Liberal of the European type. Subsequently, the he became minister to Austria-Hungary, and then to Germany. On his return to Japan, he joined the first Ito cabinet as Minister of Education, a post which he again occupied in the second Ito cabinet, having been Foreign Minister of Japan in the interval. "

Saionji helped Marquis Hirabumi Ito form the Constitutional Association (1900), and became its leader in 1903. "At three difficult crises, the Emperor called Saionji to be prime minister pro tem. Resigned premiership of Japan in December of 1912."[1]


  1. Warrick L. Barrett, Kinmochi Saionji, Find-A-Grave