unday, April 10, 1921: Okuragumi’s vice president, Shigekuro KADONO

On Sunday, April 10, 1921, Tokyo Nichinichi Newspaper reported a rumor that Okuragumi’s vice president, Shigekuro KADONO, who was the president of Okura civil engineering (current Taisei Corp.) was going to be appointed as ambassador to China. Kadono was the second son of Watari KADONO, chief retainer of the former Toba Domain. He graduated from Keio University with a degree in engineering from Imperial University and worked for Pennsylvania Railway in the United States. Later, in 1897, he got acquainted with Kihachiro OKURA and joined Okura Gumi, and worked as a branch manager of London for a long time. In 1909, he became the vice president of Okura group and supported Okura as No. 2. He held various posts such as the president of the Tokyo Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the president of the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Eventually, he did not become a foreign minister, as this newspaper article reported, but he served as Vice-President of Okura Group and Chairman of Okura Civil Engineering until 1937. Mr. Uichiro Niwa, former chairman of ITOCHU Corporation, who served as ambassador to China from June 2010 to December 2012, was the first person from the business world to become ambassador to China.

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