chapter  9
Katō as Supreme Military Councillor, and TreatyRatification
Pages 26

On 11 June, Admiral Katō Kanji was relieved of his post as Chief of the Naval General Staff and appointed a military councillor. He was surprised and delighted since he had expected to be placed on the reserve list. His new appointment meant that he could continue as a serving officer and more importantly, could still influence events since it appeared likely that the London Treaty would be submitted to the Supreme Military Council for examination prior to ratification.1 Placing Katō on the reserve list might have decreased his direct influence on the ratification process but it would also have allowed him to be more outspoken and possibly easier to manipulate by anti-treaty political groupings such as the reserve admirals. His appointment was partially for professional reasons in that the navy could scarcely afford to lose a man of his calibre. It was also political, since Katō’s departure from the Naval General Staff would have further lowered the morale of the fleet. In addition, as a Military Councillor, Katō’s role was to take a wider perspective and thus the new position might even produce a more moderate response from him. Katō’s appointment to the Council did not increase the influence on this body of the anti-treaty forces. Katō had already been a member and his successor as Chief of the Naval General Staff, Taniguchi Naozane who now became a member was pro-treaty, a necessary prerequisite for his appointment. Thus the committee was expanded to six and Katō’s vote was effectively neutralized.2