Monday, May 16 1921: The 1st Eastern Conference held

1921 (Taisho 10) The 1st Eastern Conference was held on Monday, May 16. At that time, it was also called a colonial conference. For five days, officials in charge of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Department of War, and the Department of the Navy were gathered to discuss policies related to East Asian diplomacy. Prime Minister Takashi Hara and Army Minister Giichi Tanaka will officially decide on their plan to withdraw troops from Siberia. The “Expedition to Siberia” was the last war before World War II when the government succeeded in withdrawing its troops from the military, and the government lost control over the military after that.

April 8 in the diary of Takashi HARA
Giichi TANAKA, Minister of Army, returned to Kyoto from his new place for the divisional commander meeting. [snip] he said, referring to the Siberian issue, that now is a good time to take advantage of this opportunity to withdraw. However, Karafuto was a different issue, so they did not withdraw their troops. I replied that I think it is time to take a policy toward Russia. It is necessary to study concrete measures for withdrawal. In addition, I thought that it was necessary to coordinate the policies and policies of Siberia, Manchuria, Korea, etc., so I suggested that the commanders, governors, and consuls of various places should be summoned to Tokyo on the 15th of next month for consultation. I think such a plenary session is necessary once or twice a year. It is necessary to make decisions on large and small policies based on meetings. Giichi Tanaka replied, “There is also the Shandong issue, so why don’t you call Commander Aoshima?”. Foreign Minister Yasuya Uchida’s idea was to invite Chinese minister Yu-kichi Obata. I expressed my consent to all the proposals. And we decided to hold a meeting for policy agreement in various areas.

May 16 in the diary of Takashi HARA
I convened the Council of Ministers of the New Territories, which I had been issuing a notice of convocation. The participants included Makoto Saito, Governor-General of Korea, Rentaro MIZUNO, Jiro OBA, Commander of the Korean Army, Isaburo YAMAGATA, Commander of the Kanto Army, Misao KAWAI, Commander of the Kanto Army, Mamoru YUI, Commander of the Aoshima Army, Koichiro TACHIBANA, Commander of the Siberian Army, Yukichi OBATA, Minister to China, and Masasuke AKATSUKA, Consul General of Hoten. The meeting was held by everyone, and I explained the purpose of holding this meeting. I told them that the government had decided to withdraw the Vladivostok and Shandong troops. The condition and means were also shown, and the opinion of the party was heard. Koei YUI agreed to withdraw from the hinterland of Shandong Province and concentrate his forces in the coastal city of Aoshima. Regarding the withdrawal of the Vladivostok army, Tachibana and Kawai said that they were worried about the future, but as the government’s policy had already been decided, they did not object to the major policy and stated about concrete means of withdrawal. In addition, it was decided not to use military police officers but to use police officers to guard the Korean border. However, when the need arises, soldiers will be dispatched at any time. Oba and Saito stated that they needed to change the arrangement of the troops stationed there.

‘Diary of Takashi HARA, Volume 5, the period of the Prime Minister’ edited by Keiichiro HARA , published by Fukumura Publishing , 1981

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