Kataoka Naoharu (片岡直温)
Naoharu KATAOKA (October 13, 1859 - May 21, 1934) was an entrepreneur and statesman from the Meiji, Taisho, to the early Showa periods. He came from Kochi Prefecture. He was a younger brother of Naoteru KATAOKA.
Biography and Personal Profile
After working as a teacher, county secretary, and police commissioner in Shiga Prefecture, he came to Tokyo. He got acquainted with Hirobumi ITO and joined the Ministry of Home Affairs through ITO's connection. In 1889, after retiring from the bureaucracy, he was commissioned by Sukezaburo HIROSE the management of Nippon Life Insurance Corporation. He held the post of the vice president of the company as its inaugural members. Naoharu became the second president of Nippon Life Insurance, succeeding Zenemon KONOIKE, the first president of the company. In 1915, he was assigned to the president of Miyako Hotels & Resorts. He also worked for Kyodo Bank and Kansai Railway Company.
He gained a foothold in the political arena, and he was elected a member of the Lower House in 1893. Afterwards, he was elected for 8 times. During this period, he got involved in Taro KATSURA's initiative to launch a new party, which invited a schism within the Rikken Kokumin-to Party where he belonged to, and joined the Katsura New Party (Rikken Doshi-kai). Later, he became the General Secretary of the ensuing Kenseikai Party. He firstly joined the cabinet as the Commerce and Industry Minister of the second administration of Takaaki KATO, and became Minister of Finance in the first Wakatsuki cabinet.
At the Budget Committee of the House of Representatives on March 14, 1927, he made a false comment as the Minister of Finance, 'Tokyo Watanabe Bank finally filed for bankruptcy,' although the bank did not go into liquidation. This comment triggered the Showa financial crisis and a run on the bank. The Wakatsuki Cabinet was forced to resign en masse.
In 1930, he was elected a member of the Upper House by imperial nomination.