Inouye, Kaoru (kouˈrō ĭinˈəwāˌ, ĭnōˈwā) [key], 1835–1915, Japanese statesman. He was a leader of the antiforeign movement in his native Choshu fief, and helped set fire to the British legation in Edo (now Tokyo) in 1862. He changed his views after study in England (1863) with Hirobumi Ito, and returned to urge Westernization and overthrow of the shogunate. After the Meiji restoration he was influential in reorganizing government finances on modern lines, especially in the reform of the land tax system. As foreign minister (1885–87), his failure to negotiate a revision of the unequal treaties and his unpopular Westernizing influence forced him to resign. Later he served as home minister and as finance minister under Ito.
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