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Tōjō Hideki

(1884-1948). Army general and prime minister (1941-44). Born in Tokyo, he graduated from the Army Academy and the Army Staff College. He supported the expansion of Japan's war with China, and in 1940 he was appointed to the posts of army minister and chief of the Manchuria Bureau. Tōjō was named prime minister in 1941, and the succession of victories after the attack on Pearl Harbor strengthened his position. After Japan's defeat, he attempted to kill himself while in prison. He was hanged as a war criminal on December 23, 1948. Loyal to the end, he did everything he could to exonerate Emperor Shōwa (Hirohito) from any blame for his role in the war. (adapted from Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia. Tokyo: Kodansha, 1993)

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