He who shows power does not deserve to have it. - Kishi

岸 信介

50th Prime Minister of Japan, and one of the founders of Japan's ruling LDP. He was born Sato Nobusuke on November 13, 1896, but left his family at a young age to move in with the more affluent Kishi family, adopting their family name. His biological younger brother, Sato Eisaku, would also go on to become a prime minister.

He attended Tokyo Imperial University (now the University of Tokyo) and entered the Ministry of Commerce and Industry in 1920. In 1935, he became one of the top officials involved in the industrial development of Japanese Manchukuo (Manchuria).

Prime Minister Tojo Hideki, himself a veteran of the Manchurian campaign, appointed Kishi Minister of Commerce and Industry in 1941, and he held this position until Japan's surrender in 1945. Until 1948, he was imprisoned as a Class A war criminal. Unlike Tojo (and several other cabinet members), Kishi managed to avoid trial by the IMTFE and was de-purged accordingly.

As a free man, Kishi decided to go into politics, and joined the new Democratic Party, which had just elected Yoshida Shigeru prime minister. In 1954, the Democratic Party and Liberal Party merged to elect Hatoyama Ichiro the head of the new LDP, and Kishi was not far behind. Two prime ministers later, Kishi was voted in in 1957, after the resignation of the ailing Ishibashi Tanzan.

In the first year of Kishi's term, Japan joined the Security Council of the United Nations, paid reparations to Indonesia, set up a new commercial treaty with Australia, and signed peace treaties with Czechoslovakia and Poland. His next move, however, proved to be an arduous one: Kishi wanted to rework Japan's security relationship with the United States.

In Novemer 1959, a freshly re-elected Kishi laid down his proposals for a revamped extension of the old Security Treaty between the United States and Japan. Suddenly, rioters were clashing with police in Nagata-cho, at the steps of the Diet Building. 500 people were injured in the first month's rioting. Once the protests died down soon afterward, Kishi went to Washington, and in January 1960 returned to Japan with a new, and unpopular, Treaty of Mutual Cooperation between Japan and the United States of America. The treaty was so unpopular that President Dwight Eisenhower's press secretary, James Haggerty, had his limo mobbed while trying to leave Tokyo International Airport on a visit that June.

On July 15, 1960, amidst this growing public furor, Kishi resigned and Ikeda Hayato became prime minister. Kishi died in 1987.

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