United Nations Forum for the Transition

SI  VIS  PACEM  PARA  PACEM!   If you want peace, prepare for peace! 平和を望むなら平和に備えよ









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Biography of Shidehara Kijuro

(CLICK HERE for a summary of the author's dissertation)


The Japanese diplomat, Shidehara Kijuro(1872-1951), was an internationalist and a pacifist (of what may be called ?rganizational·or scientific pacifism). having studied law at Tokyo's Imperial University under Hozumi Nobushige, he was in London in 1899, shortly after the First Hague Peace Conference, and followed the Second Peace Conference and the events leading up to it very closely. He was at The Hague from 16 June 1914 to September 1915, as Japanese minister to the Netherlands and Denmark, before he became Vice-Minister of foreign affairs. From 1918 to 1924 he was on the list of judges for the Permanent Court of Arbitration, and as ambassador in Washington from 1919-22 he was a chief negotiator at the Naval Disarmament Conference, one of the architects of the ?ashington System· also returning Shantung to China. He was acquainted with the American Movement to outlaw war. One of his beliefs was: ?hat which Buddhism teaches, the law of rewards in accordance with deeds (inga ?·, is also true in international relations.·/font>

Shidehara seems to have been friends with Dr. John Loudon, the Dutch Foreign Minister, and met C. van Vollenhoven, and endorsed his ideas (as found in Vollenhoven? proposal for an international police presented at the XXe Congr? universel de la Paix in August 1913 at The Hague, his Drie treden van het volkenrecht, Martinus Nijhoff, 1919, his ?rotius and Geneva· Bibliotheca Visseriana, 1926, and The Law of Peace, Macmillan 1936. Vollenhoven in his The Law of Peace, p. 257, states that ?n 1925 Japan was the only country, alongside the Netherlands, Flanders and the United States, paying homage to Grotius·book. And right up to 1931, indeed, the study of Grotius was becoming continually more popular in Japan.·This was the time when Shidehara was foreign minister, pursuing a ?acifist· conciliatory, and internationalist policy. And of course the chief exponent after World War 1 of Grotius·work was Vollenhoven.

As foreign minister (l924-27 and 1929-31), Shidehara returned the Boxer indemnity funds to China, to be used in cultural field. He went into ?nner emigration·after the Manchurian crisis, though he continued to exert influence on the side of those trying to restrain the military. After 1941 he was the most prominent among Japanese extending ?eace feelers· to end the war at an early date. After the war, as Prime Minister between October 1945 and May 1946, he brought about many changes under the direction of the occupation forces, and has been credited by many as having suggested the famous Article 9 of the Japanese constitution to Douglas MacArthur on 24 January 1946. Shidehara often said: ?et us create a world without war together with the world-humanity (sekai jinrui),·i.e. the global community, the peoples of the world.