The second Saionji Cabinet (第2次西園寺内閣)

On July 30, 1912 during the term of this cabinet, the Meiji period ended due to the death of the Emperor Meiji and the Taisho period started from the same day.

After the second Katsura Cabinet resigned in the wake of the success of treaty revision, SAIONJI had the second chance to come to power.

The number of the Cabinet members from Rikken seiyukai (a political party organized by Hirobumi ITO) increased by one compared to his previous cabinet, and in addition several pro-Seiyukai bureaucrats got into the Cabinet. Takashi HARA who took office as the Minister of Home Affairs sought to introduce a single-member constituency system to the election of members of the House of Representatives, but it was rejected due to the oppose of the House of Peers of Japan. However, Koyu Club, a pro-Seiyukai parliamentary group, was formed in the House of Peers and accordingly Rikken seiyukai gradually expanded its influence into the House of Peers. In addition, it was expected that Rikken seiyukai would secure the majority in the House of Representatives and the Cabinet would stably manage government administration.

However, the assassination of Hirobumi ITO caused the disruption of the power balance between Genro (elder statesmen), which enhanced the influence of Aritomo YAMAGATA. In addition to that, the impact of the Xinhai Revolution increased the pressure to build up the Japanese army. Meanwhile, the Saionji Cabinet, which was promoting administrative and financial reform, refused to give in to this pressure. However, the Cabinet was forced to resign en masse because Yusaku UEHARA, the Minister of Army, submitted his resignation and the military refused to nominate an incoming Minister of Army by hiding behind a rule that only an active military officer could serve as Army or Navy Minister (the issue of building additional two divisions).

Ministers of State
Prime Minister: Kinmochi SAIONJI (Marquis)
Minister of Foreign Affairs (Japan): Kosai UCHIDA (Viscount)
Minister of Home Affairs (Japan): Takashi HARA
Minister of Finance: Tatsuo YAMAMOTO
Minister of Army
Shinroku ISHIMOTO (Baron/Army General) (August 30, 1911-April 2, 1912)
Yusaku UEHARA (Baron/Army General) (April 5, 1912-December 21, 1912)
Minister of Navy: Makoto SAITO (Baron/Full Admiral)
Minister of Justice: Masahisa MATSUDA
Minister of Education: Sumitaka HASEBA
Minister of Agriculture and Commerce: Nobuaki MAKINO (Baron)
Minister of Communications and Transportation : Tadasu HAYASHI (Count)
Secretary of the Cabinet: Hiroshi MINAMI
Director-General of the Cabinet Legislation Bureau: Keijiro OKANO

[Original Japanese]