Financier and statesman of the Taisho and Showa eras. Born in Oita. A graduate of the Imperial University of Tokyo. In 1896, he entered the Bank of Japan. In 1897, he was sent to England and Belgium for study. After returning to Japan, he successively held important posts as Osaka branch manager and director-general of the sales bureau. He entered the Yokohama Specie Bank in 1911, and later became its president, and then was appointed Governor of the Bank of Japan in 1919. In 1923, he was appointed Minister of Finance in the Gonbee Yamamoto cabinet, and in the following year, was selected as a member of the House of Peers by Imperial command. In 1927, he was re-appointed as Governor of Nihon Ginko(the Bank of Japan), backed by Minister of Finance Korekiyo Takahashi. In 1929, he became the Minister of Finance in the Osachi Hamaguchi cabinet and lifted the gold embargo. After resigning from the post in 1931, Inoue became the administrator of Rikken Minsei-to (Constitutional Democratic Party), but was assassinated by a member of the Ketsumeidan, in the League of Blood Incident.