Eastern District Army (Japan)

Eastern District Army (Japan)

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Eastern District Army (Japan)

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The was a field army of the Imperial Japanese Army responsible for the defense of the Kantō region and northern Honshū during the Pacific War. It was one of the regional commands in the Japanese home islands reporting to the General Defense Command.


The Eastern District Army was established on 16 November 1923 in the aftermath of the Great Kanto Earthquake as the . It was essentially a home guard and garrison, responsible for recruitment and civil defense training to ensure the security of Tokyo, Yokohama, and the surrounding areas.

On 1 August 1935, the Tokyo Defense Headquarters was renamed the Eastern Defense Command. On 1 August 1940, it was renamed again as the Eastern Army, which became the Eastern District Army on 1 February 1945.

The Eastern District Army existed concurrently with the Japanese 12th Area Army, which was tasked with organizing the final defenses of Tokyo against the expected American invasion of the Japanese home islands.

The Eastern District Army played an especially significant role in combating the 15 August 1945 attempted coup d'etat of Major Kenji Hatanaka, who sought to prevent the Emperor's announcement of Japan's surrender from being broadcast. At the time, the commander of the Eastern District Army was Lieutenant General Shizuichi Tanaka.

Support of the Eastern District Army was essential to Hatanaka's plan to take over the Imperial Palace, and so Hatanaka exhorted General Tanaka to aid him. Tanaka refused, and later told his men to...
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