AuthorWierzbicki, Andrew



Author: Okazaki Hisahiko

Translated by: Noda Makito

Published by: Japan Publishing Industry Foundation for Culture (as a collaborative effort with the Japan Institute of International Affairs), Tokyo, 2019 (English Edition--original Japanese language publication in 2001 & 2002 respectively), 415pp and 303pp respectively.

Shigemitsu, Togo (not to be confused with Second World War Prime Minister General Hideki Tojo) and Yoshida were key players in Japanese Second World War era politics and foreign policy. Each is associated with a pivotal event of that period: Togo with the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, Shigemitsu with the surrender of Japan on USS Missouri in 1945 and Yoshida with the signing in 1951 of both the Treaty of San Francisco (formally ending the Second World War in the Pacific) and the US-Japan Security Pact. These three were senior diplomats as well as politicians. All came before the International Military Tribunal for the Far East after the Second World War notwithstanding that each of them was against Japan going to war.

Shigenori Togo (1882-1950) served terms as ambassador to Germany and the Soviet Union prior to the Second World War before being appointed foreign minister in 1941 in the Tojo Cabinet in which he was serving (until 1942) when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor. He served as foreign minister again briefly in April 1945. He was one of the 28 Japanese charged with war crimes. He was found guilty and sentenced to 20 years imprisonment. He died in prison.

Mamoru Shigemitsu (1887-1957) served terms as ambassador to the Soviet Union and Great Britain prior to the Second World War and was foreign minister three times. The first was during the Second World War from April 1943-April 1945. The second time was briefly in August-September 1945 when he led the Japanese delegation for the surrender ceremony on board Missouri. The third time coincided with also being deputy prime minister from 1954-56, during which period Japan joined the United Nations (December 1956). This period followed his parole from prison after he had been found guilty of war crimes in waging 'an aggressive war' and sentenced to seven years imprisonment.

Shigeru Yoshida (1878-1967) served terms as ambassador to Italy and Great Britain prior to the Second World War. He was twice prime minister following the Second World War: 1946-47 (when he was also foreign minister) and 1948-54 (when he was...

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