chapter  10
Katō’s final years
Pages 32

On 1 October 1930, immediately after the Privy Council and cabinet had given their approval, the London Treaty received Imperial sanction. Katō and those of like mind had failed in their efforts to prevent both the signing and the ratification of the treaty. However, this did not imply that Katō and the navy were now prepared to abandon the issue. The treaty decision was irreversible but discussions on the navy’s supplementary budget to remedy ‘defects’ in the treaty had still to be completed. On this issue the navy, including Taniguchi, Katō’s successor as Chief of the Naval General Staff, were determined to see that the cabinet fulfilled its previous promises. These had been given by the cabinet at the time of the final dispatch of instructions to London, and subsequent to the Supreme Military Council’s report on the treaty issue. The cabinet had promised to fulfil its obligation ‘economic and other circumstances permitting’. The navy was demanding an expenditure of 500 million yen, a figure that seriously threatened the Minseitō programme of economic retrenchment. A series of complex and often heated discussions between the navy and the government ensued, in which the government sought a reduction in expenditure of around 125 million yen. However, the navy was not prepared to go below the figure of 378 million yen.1 Eventually, a compromise was reached but not before the conflict between the navy and the government had been made public. Naturally, Katō Kanji was involved in this controversy since he was determined that the government should provide the money for the entire supplementary budget. The new Chief of the Naval General Staff was also most concerned as the government had apparently reneged on its promise. On 22 October 1930, following discussions with the Finance Minister, Deputy Navy Minister Kobayashi told Harada Kumao that:

the navy appropriation had been reduced far below our expectations. With an allocation like this the Navy can move neither hand nor foot.2