Masayuki Tani

Masayuki Tani (谷正之) (2 September 1889 – 16 October 1962)[1] was a Japanese diplomat and politician who was briefly foreign minister of Japan from September 1942 to 21 April 1943 during World War II.

Masayuki Tani
Minister of Foreign Affairs
In office
17 September 1942  21 April 1943
Prime MinisterHideki Tōjō
Preceded byShigenori Tōgō
Succeeded byMamoru Shigemitsu
Personal details
Born2 September 1889
Kumamoto prefecture, Japan
Died16 October 1962 (aged 73)
Tokyo, Japan


Tani was a career diplomat before assuming ministerial roles.[2] More specifically, he was Japanese ambassador to France (1918-1923), to the US (1927–1930) and to Manchukuo (1933–1936).[1] In addition, he was chief of Asian Bureau in the ministry of foreign affairs.[3] He also worked as counsellor to the Japanese embassy in Hsinking and as ambassador-at-large in China.[4]

He served as vice minister of foreign affairs in the cabinet of Mitsumasa Yonai[5] when appointed under then foreign minister Kichisaburō Nomura on 24 September 1939.[6]

Then Tani served as information chief and also, foreign minister in the cabinet of Hideki Tōjō.[7] He was appointed foreign minister on 17 September 1942.[8][9] During his tenure, Japan continued to encourage a separate peace between Germany and the Soviet Union.[8] However, his term was short. Since bureaucrats in the ministry of foreign affairs resented Tani,[2] on 21 April 1943, he was replaced by Mamoru Shigemitsu.[10] After that, he received Shigemitsu's former post of Japanese ambassador in Nanjing to the Reorganized National Government of China.[11]

After World War II, Tani was detained as a suspect of war crimes until December 1948.[7] However, he was not convicted.[7] Then he served again as Japan's ambassador to the United States from March 1956 to April 1957,[12] becoming the third post-war ambassador of Japan to the US.[7]

Personal life

Tani was married and had three children, a daughter and two sons.[7]


  1. Louis Frédéric; Käthe Roth (2002). Japan Encyclopedia. Harvard University Press. p. 949. ISBN 978-0-674-01753-5. Retrieved 8 January 2013.
  2. Ben Ami Shillony (1991). Politics and Culture in Wartime Japan. Oxford University Press. p. 34. ISBN 978-0-19-820260-8. Retrieved 8 January 2013.
  3. Sakai, Tetsuya (1988). "The Soviet Factor in Japanese Foreign Policy, 1923-1937" (PDF). Acta Slavica Japonica. 6: 27–40. Retrieved 8 January 2013.
  4. "Japanese seek British truce in China areas". The Pittsburgh Press. Shanghai. The United Press. 23 March 1938. Retrieved 8 January 2013.
  5. Ian Hill Nish (2002). Japanese Foreign Policy in the Interwar Period. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 144. ISBN 978-0-275-94791-0. Retrieved 8 January 2013.
  6. "Japan's new foreign minister". The Straits Times. Tokyo. 24 September 1939. p. 12. Retrieved 8 January 2013.
  7. "Tani's outlook shaped by GIS". The Spokesman Review. Tokyo. AP. 11 February 1956. Retrieved 8 January 2013.
  8. Horst Boog; Gerhard Krebs; Detlef Vogel (4 May 2006). Germany and the Second World War: Volume VII: The Strategic Air War in Europe and the War in the West and East Asia, 1943-1944/5. Oxford University Press. p. 740. ISBN 978-0-19-822889-9. Retrieved 8 January 2013.
  9. "Militarist named Togo's successor". The Evening Independent. Tokyo. 17 September 1942. Retrieved 8 January 2013.
  10. "Japan's cabinet changes". The Sydney Morning Herald. New York. AAP. 21 April 1943. Retrieved 8 January 2013.
  11. Boyle, John H. (1972). China and Japan at War, 1937-1945; The Politics of Collaboration. Stanford University Press. p. 307. ISBN 0804708002.
  12. "Telegram From the Embassy in Japan to the Department of State". US Department of State. 2 April 1955. Retrieved 8 January 2013.
Political offices
Preceded by
Shigenori Tōgō
Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan
Succeeded by
Mamoru Shigemitsu
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