Tanaka, Giichi (gē-ēˈchē täˈnäkä) [key], 1863–1929, Japanese statesman and general. He is famous as the alleged author of the so-called Tanaka Memorial (1927), purporting to set forth Japan's plans for foreign conquest. Although proven to be a forgery, its similarity in part to the subsequent course of Japanese military expansion convinced many of its authenticity. He was war minister (1918–21, 1923–24) and backed the Siberian expedition. He became president of the Seiyukai party in 1925. As prime minister and foreign minister (1927–29) he pursued an aggressive policy in China, including military intervention in Shandong in an unsuccessful attempt to prevent Chiang Kai-shek from unifying China. At home, his cabinet suppressed radicals and manipulated an election. Although it failed to win a majority, it remained in office. The downfall of Tanaka was hastened by his failure to control army extremists who assassinated the Manchurian warlord Chang Tso-lin, and by the charge that signing the Kellogg-Briand Pact"in the name of the people" infringed the sovereignty of the emperor.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.