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Shigemitsu Mamoru

(1887-1957). Career diplomat who served as foreign minister during and after World War II. Born in Ōita Prefecture, he graduated from Tokyo University in 1911 and entered the Ministry of Foreign Affairs the same year. He was appointed ambassador to the USSR in 1936 and to Britain in 1938. Upon his return to Japan in 1941 he cautioned against war with the United States. As foreign minister from 1943 to 1945, he became a leading member of the group seeking peace. As foreign minister he represented the Japanese government at the official surrender ceremony on the USS Missouri on September 2, 1945. After the war, Shigemitsu was indicted as a war criminal, was sentenced to seven years, but was released in 1950. He promptly returned to politics, becoming foreign minister and deputy premier from 1954 to 1956. (adapted from Japan: An Illustrated Encyclopedia. Tokyo: Kodansha, 1993)

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