- Eisaku Satō
Infobox Prime Minister
name = Eisaku Satō
nationality = Japanese
imagesize = 160px
order = 61st, 62nd and 63rd
Prime Minister of Japan
term_start = November 9 1964
term_end = July 7 1972
birth_date = birth date|1901|3|27
birth_place = Tabuse,
Yamaguchi Prefecture, Japan
death_date =death date and age|1975|6|3|1901|3|27
party = Liberal Democratic Party
spouse = Hiroko Satō
languagesspoken = Japanese, English
Richard M. Nixonfor the repatriation of Okinawa.] nihongo|Eisaku Satō|佐藤榮作|Satō Eisaku|extra=March 27,1901ndash June 3,1975 was a Japanese politicianand the 61st, 62nd and 63rd Prime Minister of Japan, elected on November 9, 1964, and re-elected on February 17, 1967, and January 14, 1970, serving until July 7, 1972. He is the longest-serving prime minister in the history of Japan.
Satō was born in Tabuse,
Yamaguchi Prefecture, and studied German lawat Tokyo Imperial University. In 1923, he passed the senior civil service examinations, and in the following year, upon graduation, became a civil servantin the Ministry of Railways. He served as Director of the Osaka Railways Bureau from 1944 to 1946 and Vice-Minister for Transportation from 1947 to 1948. [ http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/peace/laureates/1974/sato-bio.html Nobel Committee information on 1974 Peace Prize ]
He was appointed Minister of Postal Services and Telecommunications from July 1951 - July 1952. Sato gradually rose through the ranks of Japanese politics, becoming Chief Cabinet Secretary to Prime Minister
Shigeru Yoshidafrom January 1953 to July 1954. He later served as Minister of Construction from October 1952-February 1953.
After the Liberal Party merged with the
Japan Democratic Partyto form the Liberal Democratic Party, Satō served as chairman of the party executive council from December 1957 to June 1958. Satō became Minister of Finance in the cabinets of Nobusuke Kishi(his brother) and Hayato Ikeda.
From July 1961-July 1962, Satō was Minister of International Trade and Industry. From July 1963-June 1964 he was concurrently head of the
Hokkaidō Development Agencyand of the Science and Technology Agency, and was also state minister in charge of organizing the 1964 Summer Olympicsheld in Tokyo.
Satō succeeded Ikeda after the latter resigned due to ill health. His government was longer than many, and by the late 1960s he appeared to have single-handed control over the entire Japanese government. He was a popular prime minister due to the growing economy; his foreign policy, which was a balancing act between the interests of the
United Statesand China, was more tenuous. Student political radicalization led to numerous protests against Satō’s support of the United States-Japan Security Treaty, and Japanese tacit support for American military operations in Vietnam. These protests expanded into massive riots, which eventually forced Satō to close the prestigious University of Tokyo for a year in 1969. [Feilier. Learning to Bow. Page 80 ]
After three terms as prime minister, Satō decided not to run for a fourth. His heir apparent,
Takeo Fukuda, won the Sato faction's support in the subsequent Diet elections, but the more popular MITIminister, Kakuei Tanaka, won the vote, ending the Satō faction's dominance.
Relations with mainland China and Taiwan
Satō repeatedly refused to allow representatives from the
People's Republic of Chinato visit Japan. In 1965, Satō approved a US$150 million loan to Taiwan. He visited Taiwanin 1967. In 1969, Satō insisted that the defense of Taiwan was necessary for the safety of Japan. Satō followed the United States in most major issues, but Satō opposed the Nixon visit to China. [ MacMillian. Nixon and Mao: The Week that Changed the World ] Satō also bitterly opposed the entry of the PRC into the United Nationsin 1971.
Satō introduced the
Three Non-Nuclear Principleson December 11, 1967, which means non-production, non-possession, and non-introduction of nuclear weapons. He later suggested the "Four-Pillars Nuclear Policy". During the prime ministership of Satō, Japan entered the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. The Diet passed a resolution formally adopting the principles in 1971.
Since the end of the
Second World War, Okinawahad been occupied by the United States. While visiting the United Statesin January 1965, Satō openly asked President Lyndon Johnsonto return Okinawa to Japan. In August 1965, Satō became the first post-war prime minister of Japan to visit Okinawa.
In 1969, Satō struck a deal with U.S. president
Richard Nixonto repatriate Okinawaand remove its nuclear weaponry: this deal was controversial because it allowed the U.S. forces in Japan to maintain bases in Okinawa after repatriation. [Ambrose. The Rise to Globalism. Page 235 ] Okinawa was formally returned to Japan in 1971, and from that agreement Japan asserts a claim on the disputed Senkaku Islandsas well.
Relations with Southeast Asia
During Satō's term, Japan participated in the creation of the
Asian Development Bankin 1966 and held a ministerial level conference on Southeast Asian economic development. It was the first international conference sponsored by the Japanese government in the postwar period. [ http://asj.ioc.u-tokyo.ac.jp/eng/html/ess018.html ] In 1967, he was also the first Japanese prime minister to visit Singapore.
Satō shared the
Nobel Peace Prizewith Seán MacBridein 1974, in recognition of Japan's entry into the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treatyand emergence as a peaceful world power. He died in Tokyothe following year.
Satō married Hiroko, the daughter of diplomat
Yosuke Matsuokain 1926 and had two sons, Ryutarō and Shinji. His hobbies included golf, fishing, and the Japanese tea ceremony. [ http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/peace/laureates/1974/sato-bio.html Nobel Committee information on 1974 Peace Prize ]
*Allisonson, Gary D. Japan’s Postwar History. Cornell University Press (2004) ISBN 0801489121
*Ambrose, Stephen & Brinkley, Douglas. The Rise to Globalism. Longman (1998). ISBN 0140268316.
*Feiler, Bruce. Learning to Bow:Inside the Heart of Japan. Harper (2004). ISBN 0060577207
*MacMillian, Margaret. Nixon and Mao: The Week that Changed the World. Random House (2008). ISBN 0812970578
*Eddy Dufourmont, "Satô Eisaku, Yasuoka Masahiro and the Re-Establishment of February 11th as National Day: the Political Use of National Memory in Postwar Japan", in Wolfgang Schwentker and Sven Saaler ed.," The Power of Memory in Modern Japan", Global Oriental, 2008, p.204-222.
* [http://www.nobel.se/peace/laureates/1974/index.html Nobel Committee information on 1974 Peace Prize]
* [http://www.britannica.com/eb/article-9065855?query=sato%20eisaku&ct= Sato, Eisaku EB article]
* [http://www.kantei.go.jp/foreign/cabinet/61_e.html Japanese government home page]
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