Tuesday, May 31 1921: Senkichiro Hayakawa became president of South Manchuria Railways Company

1921 (Taisho 10) On Tuesday, May 31, Senkichiro Hayakawa became president of South Manchuria Railways Company, the so-called Mantetsu. Former president Ryutaro Nomura and vice president Seiichi Nakanishi resigned to take responsibility for the Mantetsu bribery scandal that shook the political world, and Prime Minister Takashi Hara took the initiative in selecting a successor, who was entrusted to Hayakawa, vice president of Mitsui Gomei Kaisha. Hayakawa was a financial magnate at the time and the first civilian to serve as president of Mantetsu.

Joji Matsumoto, the company’s executive vice president, also joined the company. Matsumoto is known for making the Matsumoto draft for the constitution of Japan after World War II. Matsumoto was on a business trip aboard a ship from Dalian, but his appointment as vice president was announced without his consent. It’s quite a rough personnel change. The history of this appointment is also mentioned in Takashi Hara’s diary.

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