The Secretariat of Land-Tax Reform (地租改正事務局)

The Secretariat of Land-Tax Reform was a bureau established (and functioned) in the Meiji Government from March 24, 1875 to June 30, 1881. It managed the Land-Tax Reform project.

Since 1873, Land-Tax Bureau of the Ministry of Finance had been proceeding Land-Tax Reform in full-scale. However when the prewar Ministry of Home Affairs was divided from Ministry of Finance and established as an independent ministry, the project got delayed due to the influence from so-called 'sectionalism,' as seen in one of the departments of the Ministry of Finance that dealt with land measurement being separated off to the prewar Ministry of Home Affairs. Therefore, it was decided to create a specialized bureau that deals with Land-Tax Reform collectively.

In 1875, the Secretariat of Land-Tax Reform was established with officials from the Ministry of Finance and the prewar Ministry of Home Affairs. On April 29th, Toshimichi OKUBO, the Secretary of Interior, took office as the Secretariat Director General, Shigenobu OKUMA, the Minister of the Treasury, took office as Goyogakari (the person in charge of the command from Imperial Household Ministry) (the second highest position), and Masayoshi MATSUKATA, who was a Junior Assistant Minister of the Ministry of the Treasury and concurrently the Head of Land Tax, took office as Chief of Secretariat.

The Secretariat commanded the provincial regulators, as well as answering inquiries from them. Moreover, it promoted the Land-Tax Reform project by dispatching officials to various parts of country and giving direct commands and instructions on survey and land value calculation. The Land-Tax Reform project had been completed and changed to Land-Tax (System) in most of the land by 1880; therefore it was demolished on June 30, 1881. As the end of the Land-Tax Reform was declared, remaining works were taken over by Sozei-Kyoku (Land-Tax Bureau) (former Sozei-Ryo; Land-Tax Bureau). The remaining work in some mountains and forests were completed by the next year, 1882.

[Original Japanese]