Mochizuki Keisuke
Born(1867-04-01)April 1, 1867
DiedJanuary 1, 1941(1941-01-01) (aged 73)
Tokyo, Japan
Resting placeTama Cemetery, Tokyo
OccupationPolitician, Cabinet Minister

Mochizuki Keisuke (望月圭介, 1 April 1867 – 1 January 1941) was a statesman, politician and cabinet minister in Taishō and early Shōwa period Japan.


Mochizuki was born on Ōsakikamijima, an island in the Seto Inland Sea, now part of Hiroshima Prefecture, where his father was an entrepreneur and ship owner. He went to Tokyo when he was age 13 and studied the English language, returning at age 17 to assist in the family business. However, he soon became interested in politics and was affiliated with the early Liberal Party of Japan. He was elected to the lower house of the Diet of Japan in the 1898 General Election, and was subsequently reelected from the same district 13 times.

In his early career, Mochizuki spoke out strongly against factionalism in the Diet based on old clan-based affiliations. He later joined the Kenseitō political party, but was recruited as one of the founding members of the Rikken Seiyūkai by Itō Hirobumi in 1900. He rose to a high rank within the party, eventually serving as secretary-general during the administration of Prime Minister Hara Kei.

Mochizuki first joined the Cabinet under the Tanaka administration in 1927 as Minister of Communications. The following year, he was appointed Home Minister.[1]

During his term as Home Minister, renewed activity by underground Japan Communist Party in 1928 led to the March 15 Incident, in which police arrested more than 1,600 Communists and suspected Communists under the provisions of the Public Safety Preservation Law of 1925. The same year, he pushed through an amendment to the law, raising the maximum penalty from ten years to death.

Also while Home Minister in 1927, Mochizuki responded to a petition by pioneering Japanese feminist Shidzue Katō on women's suffrage by telling her to go home to wash her baby's diapers, as the place for women is in the home.[2]

However, Mochizuki broke with the Seiyūkai in 1934, forming the short-lived Showa-kai party in 1935. He returned to the cabinet as Minister of Communications from 1935–1936, and served as a Cabinet councilor during the Yonai administration in 1940.

Mochizuki died just before the start of the Pacific War. His birthplace in Ōsakikamijima has been preserved as a museum.[3] His grave is at the Tama Cemetery.[4]



  1. ^ Hunter, A Concise Dictionary of Modern Japanese History. Page 280
  2. ^ Henderson, All Her Paths are Peace. Page 59
  3. ^ [1] Ōsakikamijima home page
  4. ^ [2] Tama Cemetery home page
Political offices Preceded byOkada Keisuke Minister of Communications 12 Sep 1935 – 9 Mar 1936 Succeeded byTanomogi Keikichi Preceded byTanaka Giichi Home Minister 23 May 1928 – 2 July 1929 Succeeded byAdachi Kenzō Preceded byAdachi Kenzō Minister of Communications 20 April 1927 – 23 May 1928 Succeeded byFusanosuke Kuhara