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Photos of the presidents of the Bank of Taiwan Kabushiki-gaisha

After the government of Japan promulgated the Bank of Taiwan Act in 1899, the Bank of Taiwan became Japan's main official financial institution in Taiwan.
In the early years of Japan's Meiji period (1868–1912), the term todori (頭取) came to be a commonly used title in Japan for the heads of many kinds of organizations, then as time went by it increasingly referred specifically to the heads of large banks, meaning something similar to "chairperson" or "president" in English. The head of the Bank of Taiwan Kabushiki-gaisha, too, was given the title of todori.
The Bank of Taiwan's first president, Juichi Soeda, graduated from university with a degree in law and went on to become Vice-Minister of the Japanese Treasury Department, president of the Japanese National Railways, first president of the Bank of Taiwan, the first president of the Industrial Bank of Japan, president of Hochi Shimbun, and a member of Japan's House of Peers. He is widely acknowledged as an important Meiji period figure who was both a senior government minister with an economic remit and an industrialist in his own right.
When Juichi Soeda became president of the Bank of Taiwan in 1899, Japan had only just begun its colonial rule over Taiwan, and people disagreed on how to rule in this land where the culture and language differed from those of Japan. Soeda argued that Japan should emulate the method of British rule in India and seek, as its ultimate aims, to secure economic resources while educating and colonizing the people of Taiwan. The fact that all important executives at the Bank of Taiwan during the Japanese colonial period were all Japanese is of course closely connected with this colonialist thinking.
Soeda once wrote: “Britain took every opportunity to cultivate an understanding of economic thought among the people of India, but never made use of the Indian people in the political arena. The British only sought to provide their colonial subjects with enough education to enable them to make a living, and definitely did not provide them with any form of higher education. In my personal opinion, so long as colonial subjects receive enough education to develop the local economy, that is sufficient; there is certainly no need to enable them to govern themselves. At the same time, the approach to education of people in the mother country has to be just the opposite. Everyone, or at least a part of the populace, needs to possess the requisite qualifications of rulers.”
During Soeda’s term as president of the Bank of Taiwan, the vice president was Kazuyoshi Yagyu, who graduated with a degree in law from Imperial Tokyo University and passed the high-level civil service exam before going on to take a position in the Japanese Treasury Department and serve as postmaster of the Yokohama General Post Office, among other posts. Later he succeeded Soeda as the second president of the Bank of Taiwan, a position he held for 15 years, longer than any other president. Kojurou Nakagawa and Kouzou Mori would later take this same path to the presidency at the Bank of Taiwan, serving first for a time as the vice president. Information on the successive presidents of the Bank of Taiwan Kabushiki-gaisha is set out as follows:


President’s name


Start of term


End of term


Juichi Soeda



15 June 1899



25 November 1901


Yagyu Kazuyoshi



22 November 1901



24 January 1916


Tetsutaro Sakurai



24 January 1916



13 August 1920


Kojurou Nakagawa



13 August 1920



12 August 1925


Kouzou Mori



13 August 1925



4 August 1927


Shigeru Shimada



4 August 1927



2 May 1934


Jiro Yasuda



23 April 1935



12 May 1939


Yayoshi Suizu



12 May 1939



Resigned in May 1944


Eizou Kaminoyama



May 1944



September 1945