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Shigemitsu (with cane) on board USS Missouri, September 2, 1945
Shigemitsu signs the Japanese Instrument of Surrender at the end of World War II, accompanied by Toshikazu Kase (right)

Mamoru Shigemitsu (重光 葵 Shigemitsu Mamoru ?) (July 29, 1881–January 26, 1957) was the Japanese Minister of Foreign Affairs at the end of World War II.

Shigemitsu was born in Ōita, Japan. He studied Law at Tokyo Imperial University, graduating in 1907.[1] After World War I, He served briefly as consul at the Japanese consulate in Portland, Oregon. On April 29, 1932, Shigemitsu was Japan's minister in Shanghai when a Korean independence activist, Yoon Bong-Gil threw a bomb at a reviewing stand [2] Shigemitsu walked with an artificial leg and cane for the rest of his life.

Shigemitsu became ambassador to the Soviet Union, and in 1938 negotiated a settlement of the Russo-Japanese border clash at Changkufeng Hill. He then became Japan's ambassador to Great Britain until he was recalled home in June, 1941. He spent two weeks in Washington on the way back, conferring with Ambassador Nomura. Two days after Pearl Harbor, Shigemitsu was appointed ambassador to the Chinese puppet state in Nanking. On April 20, 1943, in a move that was viewed as a sign that Japan might be preparing for a collapse of the Axis, Japan's Premier Hideki Tojo fired foreign minister Masayuki Tani in favor of Shigemitsu, who had been opposed to the militarists [3]. The American press often referred to him in headlines as "Shiggy."[4]

Shigemitsu, along with General Yoshijiro Umezu, signed the instrument of surrender on September 2, 1945. He was later convicted of war crimes by taking part in Unit 731,[5] and sentenced to 7 years imprisonment. He was paroled in 1950, and again served as Foreign minister from 1954 until 1956. He represented Japan at the UN General Assembly when it became the 80th member of the United Nations on December 18, 1956[6]. Prior to that, he was:

He died, aged 69, in Yugawara.

Political offices
Preceded by
Masayuki Tani
Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan
1943–1945
Succeeded by
Kantaro Suzuki
Preceded by
Shigenori Togo
Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan
1945
Succeeded by
Shigeru Yoshida
Preceded by
Shigeru Yoshida
Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan
1954–1956
Succeeded by
Nobusuke Kishi

References

  1. ^ World War Two database, accessed March 3, 2007, [1]
  2. ^ "Jap Officers Hurt By Bomb Explosion," The Bismarck Tribune, April 29, 1932, p1; USSMissouri.com
  3. ^ "Jap Cabinet is Shaken Up," Nevada State Journal, April 21, 1943, p1
  4. ^ "Shigemitsu, Mamoru," Current Biography 1943, p692
  5. ^ See "The verdict" at http://www.ww2pacific.com/unit731.html
  6. ^ NHK "Sonotoki" transmission 305 of 14 Nov 2007

Bibliography

  • Mamoru Shigemitsu, Japan and Her Destiny: My Struggle for Peace, New York: Dutton, (1958). Questia
  • Archive Footage references to Shigemitsu at Internet Movie Database [2]
  • Website on exhibition in Japanese Parliament 08-30 Nov 2007 [3], accessed 14 Nov 2007







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