The Ministry of Commerce and Industry (商工省, Shōkōshō) was a cabinet-level ministry in the government of the Empire of Japan from 1925-1947. It was created from the Ministry of Agriculture and Commerce (農商省, Nōshōshō), and was briefly merged with the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry to reestablish that Ministry during World War II.
The original Ministry of Agriculture and Commerce was created on 7 April 1881, initially under the Meiji Daijō-kan Cabinet, and then under the Meiji Constitution. It combined the Bureaus of Agriculture, Forestry, Natural History and post station maintenance which were formerly directly under the Prime Minister with the Bureau of Commerce formerly under the control of the Ministry of Finance.
On 1 April 1925, under Prime Minister Takahashi Korekiyo, the Ministry of Agriculture and Commerce was divided into the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, and the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. The division was a result of long-standing acrimony within the ministry between the “commerce” portion of the ministry, which sought expanded overseas trade, and the protectionist “agriculture” portion of the ministry which sought to ban imports of food, especially rice.
In 1934, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry divested itself of the iron and steel industry, leading to the formation of the Nippon Steel Corporation. Following the start of the Second Sino-Japanese War, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry found its role changing from promotion of trade and commerce to enforcing restrictions on trade and management of rationing programs. By the middle of World War II, the Ministry of Munitions, Ministry of Transport and Communications and the Planning Board absorbed most of the functions of the Ministry of Commerce, and the vestigial remains were merged with the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry to re-establish the Ministry of Agriculture and Commerce on November 1, 1943. The re-formed ministry was also in charge of distribution of rationed goods.
In the post-war period, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry was re-established briefly under the aegis of the Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers, and was assigned control of electrical power production and electrical power distribution. The Ministry of Commerce and Industry became the Ministry of International Trade and Industry, or MITI on May 25, 1949.
Ministers of Commerce
|1||Korekiyo Takahashi||Katō||1 April 1924||17 April 1925|
|2||Noda Utarō||Katō||17 April 1925||2 August 1925|
|3||Kataoka Naoharu||Katō |
|2 August 1925||14 September 1926|
|4||Fujisawa Ikunosuke||1st Wakatsuki||14 September 1926||20 April 1927|
|5||Nakahashi Tokugorō||1st Tanaka||20 April 1927||3 July 1929|
|6||Tawara Magoichi||Hamaguchi||3 July 1929||14 April 1931|
|7||Sakurauchi Yukio||2nd Wakatsuki||14 April 1931||13 December 1931|
|8||Maeda Yonezo||Inukai||13 December 1931||26 May 1932|
|9||Nakajima Kumakichi||Saitō||26 May 1932||9 February 1933|
|10||Matsumoto Jōji||Saitō||9 February 1933||8 July 1934|
|11||Machida Chūji||Okada||8 July 1934||9 March 1936|
|12||Kawasaki Takukichi||Hirota||9 March 1936||27 March 1936|
|13||Ogawa Gōtarō||Hirota||27 March 1936||2 February 1937|
|14||Godō Takuo||Hayashi||2 February 1937||4 June 1937|
|15||Yoshino Shinji||1st Konoe||4 June 1937||26 May 1938|
|16||Ikeda Shigeaki||1st Konoe||26 May 1938||5 January 1939|
|17||Hatta Yoshiaki||Hiranuma||5 January 1939||30 August 1939|
|18||Godō Takuo||Abe||30 August 1939||16 October 1939|
|19||Godō Takuo||Abe||16 October 1939||16 January 1940|
|20||Fujiwara Ginjirō||Yonai||22 January 1940||5 July 1940|
|21||Kobayashi Ichizō||2nd Konoe||22 July 1940||4 April 1941|
|22||Toyoda Teijirō||2nd Konoe||4 April 1941||18 July 1941|
|23||Sakonji Seizō||3rd Konoe||18 July 1941||18 October 1941|
|24||Kishi Nobusuke||Tōjō||18 October 1941||8 October 1943|
|25||Tōjō Hideki||Tōjō||8 October 1943||1 November 1943|
|26||Chikuhei Nakajima||Higashikuni||26 August 1945||9 October 1945|
|27||Sankurō Ogasawara||Shidehara||9 October 1945||2 May 1946|
|28||Jirō Hoshijima||1st Yoshida||2 May 1946||31 January 1947|
|29||Mitsujirō Ishii||1st Yoshida||31 January 1947||26 May 1947|
|30||Chōsaburō Mizutani||Katayama||26 May 1947||10 March 1948|
|31||Chōsaburō Mizutani||Ashida||10 March 1948||15 October 1948|
|32||Sanzō Ōya||2nd Yoshida||15 October 1948||16 February 1949|
|32||Heitarō Inagaki||2nd Yoshida||16 February 1949||25 May 1949|