Friday, December 30, 2005

September 21, 1942 archives: Ki's son Ken

One Japanese who has good reason to loathe Japan's ruling militarists is handsome Ken Inukai, 53, four times a Diet member. In 1932 a group of young officers murdered his 77-year-old father, Premier Ki Inukai, potent Seiyukai Party leader, whose wily political opportunism brought him the nickname "The Old Fox."

It was among the most revolting of the many assassinations by which the militarists worked for power against Japan's financial and political oligarchy. The murderers broke into the Premier's official residence toward the end of a bland spring afternoon, found him at ease with his daughter-in-law, her two children and a family friend. Two officers slammed bearded, aging little Ki Inukai against a wall while others raised their pistols. "Please don't shoot," he begged. "Maybe we can settle this." Two bullets drilled his head.

Last week the world heard reports that the Premier's son Ken had been trying to do as he had been done by. The unconfirmed reports came from the Korean underground by way of Kilsoo K. Haan, Washington agent of the Sino-Korean People's League. They said that Ken Inukai was in a Japanese jail charged with aiding the attempted assassination (TIME, Aug. 24) of Premier General Hideki Tojo and onetime (1936-37) Premier Koki Hirota, a leader of the sinister militaristic Black Dragon Society. Ken Inukai was also charged with aiding Eurldan, a Korean terrorist group. The charge was that he had helped Eurldan to derail an express 100 miles from Tokyo, thereby badly injuring Navy Minister Admiral Shigetaro Shimada and Captain Fritz Wiedemann, onetime German Consul General in San Francisco.

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