The Second ITO Cabinet (第2次伊藤内閣)

ITO resigned the prime minister in August 31, and Kiyotaka KURODA, the Chairman of the Privy Council (Japan) also served temporarily as the prime minister until organization of the Cabinet by Masayoshi MATSUKATA on September 18 of the same year.

The situation that the previous prime minister Masayoshi MATSUKATA gave up the Cabinet because he lost the support of the members of his own Cabinet also made ITO who received the imperial command on August 2, feel concern about future government management. Thus, ITO announced to organize the Cabinet on condition that major genkuns (the statesmen who contributed in Meiji Restoration) should join the Cabinet, and completed organization of the Cabinet with two ex-prime ministers, Kiyotaka KURODA and Aritomo YAMAGATA joining the Cabinet. Therefore, this cabinet was called "Genkun Cabinet". On November 27 of the same year, there was an traffic accident that the jinrikisha (a taxi-like vehicle pulled by a man) carrying ITO crashed a horse-drawn buggy and wrecked, and ITO fell off and badly injured, so the Minister of Home Affairs, Kaoru INOUE (Japan) served as the acting temporary prime minister until February 7 of the next year.

In the battle over "government cost-cutting" and "budget for navy" with minto, he reached a compromise based on the imperial rescript of "Wachukyodo (work together in the same spirit)" from Emperor Meiji, 3 million yen of daily living expenses, and 10% cut of salary for government officials to pass the budget, and subsequently opposed to movement of Taigaikoha (hard-line group against foreign countries) which were rising among a minto party (the Constitutional Progressive Party) and right-wing groups (including National Association and Great Japan Association) toward the end of negotiation for treaty revision by dissolution of the House of Representatives twice, and successfully removed exterritoriality by conclusion of the Anglo-Japanese Treaty of Commerce and Navigation.

Immediately after that, when Sino-Japanese War broke out starting with military intervention to Donghak-to disturbance occurred in the Korean Peninsula, ITO transferred the Imperial headquarters and Imperial Diet to Hiroshima City to establish the wartime regime and led Japan to victory and concluded Treaty of Shimonoseki with Qing. The victory in this war had significant influence on long-term administration by this cabinet.

However, the Triple Intervention, followed by Itsubi Incident and Rokan Hansen (Korea royal refuge at the Russian legation), rather weakened Japan's influence on the Korean Peninsula, and cooperative relationship between the government and minto during the war was gradually disrupted. Thus, Navigation Encouragement Act and Shipbuilding Encouragement Act were established in 1896. In addition, ITO gave up the doctrine of superiority and took Taisuke ITAGAKI, the president of the Liberal Party (Meiji period) into the Cabinet as the Minister of Home Affairs (Japan), to include this party to the ruling party. Subsequently, ITO schemed to take the previous prime minister Masayoshi MATSUKATA and the leader of the Progressive Party (Japan), Shigenobu OKUMA into the Cabinet, but ITAGAKII who had a strong rivalry against OKUMA and YAMAGATA who persisted in the doctrine of superiority rebelled against this, and as a result, ITO considered that it was difficult to keep administration anymore and submitted the letter of resignation.

Minister of State

[Original Japanese]