Hideki Tojo

Hideki Tojo
Hideki Tojo

Hideki Tojo (東條 英機 Tōjō Hideki) (December 30 1884December 23 1948) was a General in the Imperial Japanese Army and the 27th Prime Minister of Japan during much of World War II, from October 18 1941 to July 22 1944.

Tojo was born in Tokyo in 1884. He was a member of the military clique that pushed Japan into war in the late 1930s. He was also Chief of Staff of the Kwangtung Army and Chief of the Kempeitai. As War Minister in 1940 he was instrumental in leading Japan into the Axis Alliance with Germany and Italy. By 1941 he was appointed prime minister by Emperor Hirohito and took command of the entire Japanese military. Though Hirohito remained nominally in charge, the dominance of the Japanese military at the time ensured that Tojo was the nation's effective dictator.

During World War II he led Japanese forces in the Pacific War, to bomb Pearl Harbor, but was forced to resign on July 18 1944 following a series of military disasters. He left government and went into seclusion.

After Japan surrendered in 1945 Tojo shot himself in the chest as a suicide attempt. He survived and was arrested a short time later. He recovered from his injuries at a hospital.

Tojo in custody
Tojo in custody

He then was tried by the International Military Tribunal for the Far East for war crimes. He was found guilty of the following crimes:

  • count 1 (waging wars of aggression, and war or wars in violation of international law
  • count 27 (waging unprovoked war against China)
  • count 29 (waging aggressive war against the United States)
  • count 31 (waging aggressive war against the British Commonwealth)
  • count 32 (waging aggressive war against the Netherlands (Indonesia))
  • count 33 (waging aggressive war against France (Indochina))
  • count 54 (ordering, authorizing, and permitting inhumane treatment of Prisoners of War (POWs) and others)

He was sentenced to death on November 12, 1948 and executed by hanging. He is the only head of government to date to be executed for war crimes.

Because of the crimes committed under his authority, Tojo is considered responsible for the murder of almost four million Chinese. Tojo approved government-sanctioned biological experiments on POWs.

Hideki Tojo's nickname was "the razor (kamisori)". His commemorating tomb is located in a shrine in Hazu, Aichi.

External link

Preceded by:
Fumimaro Konoe
Prime Minister of Japan
Succeeded by:
Kuniaki Koiso
de:Tōjō Hideki

es:Hideki Tojo fr:Hideki Tojo gl:Hideki Tojo ko:도조 히데키 id:Hideki Tojo nl:Hideki Tojo ja:東條英機 fi:Tōjō Hideki sv:Hideki Tojo zh:东条英机


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