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Tran Trong Kim file photo [27279]

Tran Trong Kim

Given NameTrong Kim
Died2 Dec 1953
CountryFrench Indochina


ww2dbaseTran Trong Kim was born in Dan Pho, Ha Tinh Province, French Protectorate of Annam in 1883. He studied in Hanoi, French Protectorate of Tonkin before obtaining employment with the French colonial administration as an interpreter. In 1908, he was awarded with a scholarship to study at the École Normale of Melun in central France, where he would be trained as an educator. He returned to French Indochina in Sep 1911 and became a teacher in Annam. In 1921, he was made an inspector of elementary schools. In 1924, he was placed in charge of elementary school textbooks. In 1931, he was placed in charge of pedagogy. In 1939, he was made the director of elementary schools. In 1939, he was appointed to the Chamber of People's Representatives, an advisory body to the Tonkin administration. By 1942, he had risen to become an inspector of public elementary schools in Tonkin. In 1943, he was made a chevalier of the Order of the Legion of Honour. He had also published widely on the topics of pedagogy, Confucianism, Buddhism, and history. He had several Japanese contacts, and was increasingly suspect in the eyes of the French colonial administration. In Oct 1943, the Japanese Kempeitei military police organization granted him protection. Escorted by Kempeitei agents, he relocated from Hanoi to Saigon, then to Singapore in Jan 1944. In Dec 1944, he moved to Bangkok, Thailand. In Mar 1945, he was recalled to Saigon by the Japanese; he was told that the Japanese required an expert on Vietnamese history. When he arrived, he was met with General Saburo Kawamura, Chief of Staff of the Japanese Indochina Garrison Army, and Lieutenant Colonel Hayashi Hidezumi, Kawamura's chief of political affairs, who told him that he was among those being considered for top posts at the Empire of Vietnam, a newly formed puppet state. He met with Emperor Bao Dai on 7 Apr 1945, who offered him the post of Prime Minister. He accepted with reluctance. He chose his cabinet ministers carefully; most of them had some reputation as Vietnamese nationalists, but none were radical enough to be labeled as anti-French nor anti-Japanese. Immediately he replaced public schools' French curriculum with Vietnamese, but on the economy and infrastructure fronts he had little power to carry out any policies as Japanese advisors had de facto control of all manpower. During the great famine of 1945, his government was blamed for doing nothing to help starving countrymen. He remained in power until the end of the war in Aug 1945, which saw the return of the French colonial administration. After the war, he came under the protection of Ho Chi Minh's communists. In Jun 1946, he traveled to Hong Kong to meet with the former Emperor Bao Dai, discussing the possibility of a return of Vietnamese monarchy. He returned to Saigon in Feb 1947 after residing a year in Guangzhou, Guandong Provice, China and in Hong Kong. Although offered a position with the French colonial administration, he rejected the offer. In 1948, moved to Phnom Penh, Cambodia, French Indochina. He returned to Vietnam and would pass away in 1953. Some of his academic works would remain in publication for many decades to come.

ww2dbaseSource: Wikipedia

Last Major Revision: Jan 2018


Portrait of Tran Trong Kim, circa 1945Prime Minister Tran Trong Kim of the puppet state Empire of Vietnam with his cabinet ministers, 1945

Tran Trong Kim Timeline

28 Oct 1943 Japanese Kempeitei agents extended protection to Tran Trong Kim in Hanoi, Tonkin, French Indochina, who was being investigated by French authorities.
1 Jan 1944 Tran Trong Kim departed Saigon, Cochinchina, French Indochina for Singapore.
30 Mar 1945 Tran Trong Kim was recalled from Bangkok, Thailand to Saigon, Cochinchina, French Indochina by the Japanese.
2 Apr 1945 Tran Trong Kim departed Saigon, Cochinchina, French Indochina.
7 Apr 1945 Tran Trong Kim met with Emperor Bao Dai of the Empire of Vietnam, a Japanese-sponsored puppet state.
17 Apr 1945 Tran Trong Kim was made the Prime Minister of the Empire of Vietnam.
23 Aug 1945 Tran Trong Kim stepped down as the Prime Minister of the Empire of Vietnam.
2 Dec 1953 Tran Trong Kim passed away in Da Lat, Annam, French Indochina.

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Portrait of Tran Trong Kim, circa 1945Prime Minister Tran Trong Kim of the puppet state Empire of Vietnam with his cabinet ministers, 1945

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