[Lone Sentry: WWII Photographs, Documents and Research]
[Lone Sentry: World War II Photographs, Documents and Research]
Home Page  |  Site Map  |  What's New  |  Search  |  Contact Us

TM-E 30-480: Handbook on Japanese Military Forces
Technical Manual, U.S. War Department, October 1, 1944
[DISCLAIMER: The following text and illustrations are taken from a WWII U.S. War Department Technical Manual. As with all wartime manuals, the text may be incomplete or inaccurate. No attempt has been made to update or correct the contents of the original technical manual. Any views or opinions expressed do not necessarily represent those of the website.]

Chapter II: Japanese Military System

Section I: The Japanese High Command

1. THE EMPEROR. The Japanese Constitution provides that the Emperor is Commander-in-Chief of the Army and Navy; that he determines their organization; and that he declares war, makes peace, and concludes treaties. He is advised by two military councils: the Board of Marshals and Admirals and the Supreme Military Council.

2. IMPERIAL HEADQUARTERS. In wartime or in case of grave emergency an Imperial Headquarters is established, under the supervision of the Emperor, to assist in the exercise of supreme command. It consists of the Chiefs of the Army and Navy General Staffs, the Ministers of War and of Navy, and a staff of specially selected officers (see fig. 3).

[Figure 3. The Japanese High Command.]
Figure 3. The Japanese High Command.

3. ARMY HEADS (Corresponds to U.S. War Department). Subordinate to the Emperor and Imperial Headquarters, the direction of the Army is in the hands of four principal agencies. These are (see next column)—

The General Staff (Sambō Hombu).
The Ministry of War.
The Inspectorate General of Military Training.
The Inspectorate General of Aviation.

4. THE GENERAL STAFF. The General Staff comprises five bureaus: General Affairs, Operations, Intelligence, Transport, and Historical. It is charged with the preparation of war plans; the training and employment of combined arms; the direction of large maneuvers; the movement of troops; the compilation of field service regulations, maps, and military histories; and with supervision of the General Staff College and the Land Survey Department. The Chief of the General Staff is appointed by the Emperor. The General Staff is organized as shown in figure 4.

[Figure 4. Army General Staff Headquarters.]
Figure 4. Army General Staff Headquarters.

5. THE MINISTRY OF WAR. a. Functions. The Ministry of War is the administrative, supply, and mobilization agency of the Army. Its chief, the Minister of War, is a member of the Cabinet and provides liaison between the Army and the Diet. He must be a general or lieutenant general on the active list, and he is directly responsible to the Emperor. The Ministry of War is subdivided into the Secretariat and eight bureaus (see fig. 5).

[Figure 5. Ministry of War.]
Figure 5. Ministry of War.

b. Other duties. In addition to the duties shown in figure 5, the Minister of War supervises the following:

Technical Headquarters, including Scientific Research Institute.
Provost Marshal General.
Remount Depot.
Fortifications Department.
Transportation Department.
Fuel Depot.
Army Supply Depot (military supplies other than ordnance).
Mechanized Headquarters, believed to include training and development of mechanized units.
Military Police School.
Ordnance School.
Intendance School.
Medical School.
Veterinary School.
Research Laboratories.
Medical and Veterinary Supply Depots.
Provisions and Clothing Depots.

c. Other supervisory duties. He also supervises the activities of the following agencies:

(1) Aviation Headquarters.

Air technical research laboratory.
Flight test department.
Air depots.
Air arsenals.

(2) Ordnance Depot.

Ordnance Administrative Headquarters.
Ordnance supply depots.

6. THE INSPECTORATE GENERAL OF MILITARY TRAINING. The Inspectorate General of Military Training consists of a general affairs bureau, a so-called 2nd Bureau (Dai Ni Bu), and several inspectorates. It is responsible for technical and tactical training of the separate arms, except the Air Service and of other services not under the War Ministry. (See fig. 6.)

[Figure 6. Inspectorate General of Military Training.]
Figure 6. Inspectorate General of Military Training.

7. THE INSPECTORATE GENERAL OF AVIATION. This agency was created by an ordinance issued 7 December 1938 to supervise Air Corps training. It comprises a General Affairs Department and a Training Department and is headed by a general or lieutenant general. In aviation training matters, only, is it directly responsible to the Emperor; in other respects, the Inspector General of Aviation is subordinate to the "Big Three" (Chief of General Staff, War Minister, and Inspector General of Military Training). The Inspector General of Aviation may be said to rank with, but after, the "Big Three."

*The Supreme Military Council and the Board of Marshals and Admirals act in an advisory capacity.

[Back to Table of Contents] Back to Table of Contents

LONE SENTRY | Home Page | Site Map | What's New | Search | Contact Us