Hideki Tojo 東條 英機
Prime Minister of Japan
Hideki Tojo 東條 英機 was born on December 30, 1884 in Kōjimachi district of Tokyo in Japan. His father, Hidenori Tojo was a member samurai caste and after the Meiji Restoration, he became an officer in the Imperial Japanese Army (IJA) and rose to the rank of Lieutenant General. His mother was the daughter of a Buddhist priest. In his youth he was known to be opinionated and combative and only an average student but worked extremely hard to compensate. In 1899, Tojo enrolled in the Army Cadet School.
Tojo graduated from the Japanese Military Academy ranked 10th in his class of 363 cadets. In March 1905 he was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant. Like many Japanese, he was outraged how the Russo-Japanese War ended with the Treaty of Portsmouth negotiated by U. S. President Theodore Roosevelt and believed the United States had conspired to cheat Japan from rightful gains including Siberia. In 1909, he married Katsuko Ito. The couple had three sons Hidetake, Teruo, and Toshio and four daughters Mitsue, Makie, Sachie and Kimie.
During 1918–1919 during the Russian Civil War, his first military posting was part of the Japanese expeditionary force in Sibera. Between 1919–1922 he served as a Japanese military attaché to Germany. Returning from Europe, Tojo made his only visit to the United States and took a train cross country and concluded Americans were a soft people devoted only to making money and to hedonistic pursuits. In Japan, he was promoted to serve as a bureau chief of the Japanese Army. In 1928 promoted to the rank of colonel and commanded the 8th Infantry Regiment.
In 1934, Hideki was promoted to the rank of Major General and served in the High Command as the Chief of the Personnel Department within the Army Ministry. That same year, he wrote a chapter in the book "Essays in time of national emergency" advocating for a national defense state and claimed since 1919, Britain, France and the United States were ideologically against Japan. In August 1934 became commander of the 24th Infantry Brigade. In September 1935 assumed command of the Kenpeitai of the Kwantung Army in Manchuria. Tojo was a member of the Tōseiha (Control) faction of the Army that favored working within the exisiting government systems to achieve expansion abroad and a domestic dictatorship under the Emperor.
On October 17, 1941 Imperial Japanese Army (IJA) General Hideki Tojo became Prime Minister of Japan who was an outspoken proponents for preventive war including an attack against the United States. As tensions with the United States increased, on November 26, 1941 U. S. Secretary of State Cordell Hull sent the Japanese ambassador the "Hull note" that demanded Japan withdraw from Indochina and China. In Japan, Prime Minister Tojo told his cabinet "This is an ultimatum" and on December 1, 1941 the Imperial Conference sanctioned "War against the United States, United Kingdom and the Kingdom of the Netherlands".
After the Japanese defeat on Saipan, the Emperor lost confidence in Prime Minister Tojo and his cabinet and forced him to resign on July 18, 1944. Two days later, Emperor Hirohito gave him an imperial rescript offering him praise for his "meritorious services and hard work" and declaring "Hereafter we expect you to live up to our trust and make even greater contributions to military affairs".
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