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Konoe Fumimaro

(1891-1945). Japanese politician and the 34th, 38th, and 39th Prime Minister of Japan. He was born into the ancient Fujiwara clan, and heir of the princely Konoe family in Tokyo. He entered politics in 1920 as a moderate and opposed to the power of the army. In June 1937, he became Prime Minister in an attempt to balance the growing power of the military, but he turned increasingly militaristic himself. In November, Konoe announced Japan's aim of a new order in Asia, what would become the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere, and pressed China for concessions to end the Sino-Japanese War. He resigned on January 5, 1939 over his failure to negotiate an end to the conflict in China. Konoe played a role in the fall of the Tojo government in 1944 and in February 1945 he advised Emperor Hirohito to begin negotiations to end World War II. After the beginning of the American occupation, he served in the cabinet of Prince Naruhiko Higashikuni, the first post-war government, but he came under suspicion of war crimes. In December 1945, during the last call by the Americans for alleged war criminals to report to the Americans, he took potassium cyanide poison and committed suicide. His grandson, Morihiro Hosokawa, became prime minister fifty years later. (from Wikipedia)

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