Minister for Foreign Affairs (Japan)

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Minister of Foreign Affairs
Emblem of the Government of Japan
Incumbent
Yōko Kamikawa
since 13 September 2023
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
StyleHer Excellency
Member ofCabinet of Japan
National Security Council
Reports toPrime Minister of Japan
AppointerPrime Minister
subject to formal attestation by the Emperor
FormationDecember 22, 1885; 138 years ago (1885-12-22)
DeputyState Minister of Foreign Affairs
Salary¥20,916,000

The minister for foreign affairs (外務大臣, Gaimu Daijin) is a member of the cabinet of Japan and is the leader and chief executive of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The minister is responsible for implementing Japan's foreign policy and is also a statutory member of the National Security Council. The minister is nominated by the prime minister and is appointed by the emperor of Japan.

Since the end of the allied occupation of Japan, the position has been one of the most powerful in the cabinet, as Japan's economic interests have long relied on foreign relations. The recent efforts of former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi and Shinzo Abe to establish a more interventionist foreign policy have also heightened the importance of the position.

The current minister for foreign affairs is Yōko Kamikawa, who took office on September 13, 2023.[1]

List of ministers for foreign affairs[edit]

  • Italics indicates subject served as Acting Foreign Minister.
  • Bold indicates subject served concurrently as Prime Minister for a period of time.

Empire of Japan (1885–1945)[edit]

# Portrait Name Took office Left office
1 Count Inoue Kaoru December 1885 September 1887
Count Itō Hirobumi September 1887 February 1888
2 Count Ōkuma Shigenobu
(1st)
February 1888 December 1889
3 Viscount Aoki Shūzō
(1st)
December 1889 May 1891
4 Viscount Enomoto Takeaki May 1891 August 1892
5 Viscount Mutsu Munemitsu August 1892 May 1896
6 Marquis Saionji Kinmochi
(1st)
May 1896 September 1896
2 Count Ōkuma Shigenobu
(2nd)
September 1896 November 1897
7 Baron Nishi Tokujirō November 1897 January 1898
2 Count Ōkuma Shigenobu
(3rd)
January 1898 June 1898
3 Viscount Aoki Shūzō
(2nd)
June 1898 October 1900
8 Katō Takaaki
(1st)
October 1900 June 1901
9 Sone Arasuke June 1901 September 1901
10 Baron Komura Jutarō
(1st)
September 1901 January 1906
8 Katō Takaaki
(2nd)
January 1906 March 1906
6 Marquis Saionji Kinmochi
(2nd)
March 1906 May 1906
11 Count Hayashi Tadasu May 1906 July 1908
12 General Viscount Terauchi Masatake
(1st)
July 1908 August 1908
10 Marquis Komura Jutarō
(2nd)
August 1908 August 1911
13 Viscount Uchida Kosai
(1st)
August 1911 December 1912
14 Prince Katsura Tarō December 1912 January 1913
8 Baron Katō Takaaki
(3rd)
January 1913 February 1913
15 Baron Makino Nobuaki February 1913 April 1914
8 Baron Katō Takaaki
(4th)
April 1914 August 1915
2 Count Ōkuma Shigenobu
(4th)
August 1915 October 1915
16 Viscount Ishii Kikujirō October 1915 October 1916
12 Marshal Count Terauchi Masatake
(2nd)
October 1916 November 1916
17 Viscount Motono Ichirō November 1916 April 1918
18 Baron Gotō Shinpei April 1918 September 1918
13 Count Uchida Kosai
(2nd)
September 1918 2 September 1923
19 Admiral Count Yamamoto Gonnohyōe 2 September 1923 19 September 1923
20 Baron Ijuin Hikokichi September 1923 January 1924
21 Baron Matsui Keishirō January 1924 June 1924
22 Baron Kijūrō Shidehara
(1st)
June 1924 April 1927
23 Baron Tanaka Giichi April 1927 July 1929
22 Baron Kijūrō Shidehara
(2nd)
July 1929 December 1931
24 Inukai Tsuyoshi December 1931 January 1932
25 Kenkichi Yoshizawa January 1932 May 1932
26 Admiral Viscount Saitō Makoto May 1932 July 1932
13 Count Uchida Kosai
(3rd)
July 1932 September 1933
27 Kōki Hirota
(1st)
September 1933[a] April 1936
28 Hachirō Arita
(1st)
April 1936 February 1937
29 Senjuro Hayashi February 1937 March 1937
30 Naotake Satō March 1937 June 1937
27 Kōki Hirota
(2nd)
June 1937 May 1938
31 General Kazushige Ugaki May 1938 September 1938
32 Prince Fumimaro Konoe September 1938 October 1938
28 Hachirō Arita
(2nd)
October 1938 January 1939
33 General Nobuyuki Abe January 1939 August 1939
34 Admiral Kichisaburō Nomura August 1939 January 1940
28 Hachirō Arita
(3rd)
January 1940 July 1940
35 Yōsuke Matsuoka July 1940 July 1941
36 Admiral Teijirō Toyoda July 1941 October 1941
37 Shigenori Tōgō
(1st)
October 1941 September 1942
38 General Hideki Tōjō 1 September 1942 17 September 1942
39 Masayuki Tani September 1942 April 1943
40 Mamoru Shigemitsu
(1st)
April 1943 April 1945
41 Admiral Baron Kantarō Suzuki April 1945 April 1945
37 Shigenori Tōgō
(2nd)
April 1945 August 1945
40 Mamoru Shigemitsu
(2nd)
August 1945 September 1945

Postwar Japan (1945–present)[edit]

  Liberal (1945)
  Imperial Family
  Progressive
  Socialist
  Democratic (1947)
  Democratic Liberal
  Liberal (1950)
  Democratic (1954)
  Liberal Democratic
  Japan Renewal Party
  Japan New Party
  Liberal League
  Democratic

Foreign Minister Term of office Prime Minister
# Portrait Name Took office Left office Days
43 Shigeru Yoshida September 15, 1945 May 24, 1947 616 Prince Naruhiko Higashikuni
Kijūrō Shidehara
Shigeru Yoshida
- Tetsu Katayama May 24, 1947 June 1, 1947 8 Tetsu Katayama
44 Hitoshi Ashida June 1, 1947 October 15, 1948 502
Hitoshi Ashida
(43) Shigeru Yoshida October 15, 1948 April 30, 1952 1293 Shigeru Yoshida
45 Katsuo Okazaki April 30, 1952 December 10, 1954 954
(40) Mamoru Shigemitsu December 10, 1954 November 22, 1955 744 Ichirō Hatoyama
November 22, 1955 December 23, 1956
- Tanzan Ishibashi December 23, 1956 December 23, 1956 0 Tanzan Ishibashi
46 Nobusuke Kishi December 23, 1956 July 10, 1957 199
Nobusuke Kishi
47 Aiichirō Fujiyama July 10, 1957 July 19, 1960 1105
48 Zentaro Kosaka July 19, 1960 July 18, 1962 729 Hayato Ikeda
49 Masayoshi Ōhira July 18, 1962 July 18, 1964 731
50 Shiina Etsusaburo July 18, 1964 December 3, 1966 868
Eisaku Satō
51 Takeo Miki December 3, 1966 October 29, 1968 696
- Eisaku Satō October 29, 1968 November 30, 1968 32
52 Kiichi Aichi November 30, 1968 July 9, 1971 951
53 Takeo Fukuda July 9, 1971 July 7, 1972 364
(49) Masayoshi Ōhira July 7, 1972 July 16, 1974 739 Kakuei Tanaka
54 Toshio Kimura July 16, 1974 December 9, 1974 146
55 Kiichi Miyazawa December 9, 1974 September 5, 1976 646 Takeo Miki
(48) Zentaro Kosaka September 5, 1976 December 24, 1976 100
56 Iichirō Hatoyama December 24, 1976 November 28, 1977 339 Takeo Fukuda
57 Sunao Sonoda November 28, 1977 November 8, 1979 710
Masayoshi Ōhira
58 Saburō Ōkita November 8, 1979 July 17, 1980 252
59 Masayoshi Ito July 17, 1980 May 18, 1981 305 Zenkō Suzuki
(57) Sunao Sonoda May 18, 1981 November 30, 1981 196
60 Yoshio Sakurauchi November 30, 1981 November 27, 1982 362
61 Shintaro Abe November 27, 1982 July 22, 1986 1333 Yasuhiro Nakasone
62 Tadashi Kuranari July 22, 1986 November 6, 1987 472
63 Sosuke Uno November 6, 1987 June 3, 1989 575 Noboru Takeshita
64 Hiroshi Mitsuzuka June 3, 1989 August 10, 1989 68 Sosuke Uno
65 Taro Nakayama August 10, 1989 November 5, 1991 817 Toshiki Kaifu
66 Michio Watanabe November 5, 1991 April 7, 1993 519 Kiichi Miyazawa
67 Kabun Mutō April 7, 1993 August 9, 1993 124
68 Tsutomu Hata August 9, 1993 April 28, 1994 262 Morihiro Hosokawa
69 Koji Kakizawa April 28, 1994 June 30, 1994 63 Tsutomu Hata
70 Yōhei Kōno June 30, 1994 January 11, 1996 560 Tomiichi Murayama
71 Yukihiko Ikeda January 11, 1996 September 11, 1997 609 Ryutaro Hashimoto
72 Keizo Obuchi September 11, 1997 July 30, 1998 322
73 Masahiko Kōmura July 30, 1998 October 5, 1999 432 Keizo Obuchi
(70) Yōhei Kōno October 5, 1999 April 26, 2001 569
Yoshiro Mori
74 Makiko Tanaka April 26, 2001 January 29, 2002 278 Junichiro Koizumi
75 Junichiro Koizumi

(Acting)

January 29, 2002 February 1, 2002 3
76 Yoriko Kawaguchi February 1, 2002 September 27, 2004 969
77 Nobutaka Machimura September 27, 2004 October 31, 2005 399
78 Tarō Asō October 31, 2005 August 27, 2007 665
Shinzō Abe
(77) Nobutaka Machimura August 27, 2007 September 26, 2007 30
(73) Masahiko Kōmura September 26, 2007 September 24, 2008 364 Yasuo Fukuda
79 Hirofumi Nakasone September 24, 2008 September 16, 2009 357 Tarō Asō
80 Katsuya Okada September 16, 2009 September 17, 2010 366 Yukio Hatoyama
Naoto Kan
81 Seiji Maehara September 17, 2010 March 7, 2011 171
Yukio Edano
(Acting)
March 7, 2011 March 9, 2011 2
82 Takeaki Matsumoto March 9, 2011 September 2, 2011 177
83 Kōichirō Genba September 2, 2011 December 26, 2012 481 Yoshihiko Noda
84 Fumio Kishida December 26, 2012 August 3, 2017 1681 Shinzō Abe
85 Taro Kono August 3, 2017 September 11, 2019 769
86 Toshimitsu Motegi September 11, 2019 November 4, 2021 785
Yoshihide Suga
(84) Fumio Kishida

(Acting)

November 4, 2021 November 10, 2021 6 Fumio Kishida
87 Yoshimasa Hayashi November 10, 2021 September 13, 2023 672
88 Yōko Kamikawa September 13, 2023 Incumbent 211

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Appointed as Prime Minister during the tenure.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Kishida Appointing, New Foreign Minister (6 November 2021). "Kishida set to tap former education minister Yoshimasa Hayashi to be Japan's top diplomat". The Japan Times. Kyodo Staff News. Retrieved 6 May 2022.

External links[edit]