- Kantarō Suzuki
name=Baron Kantarō Suzuki|nationality=
Prime Minister of Japan
7 April 1945
17 August 1945
Prince Higashikuni Naruhiko
monarch = Emperor Showa
office2=Chairman of the Privy Council
7 August, 1944
7 June, 1945
Grand Chamberlain of Japan
Imperial Japanese Navy General Staff
15 April, 1925
22 January, 1929
Izumi Province, Japan
death_date=death date and age|1948|4|17|1868|1|18 [Nishida, Imperial Japanese Navy]
Noda, Chiba, Japan
Empire of Japan
branch= navy|Empire of Japan
commands="Akashi", "Soya", "Shikishima", "Tsukuba"
Maizuru Naval District, IJN 2nd fleet, IJN 3rd fleet, Kure Naval District, Combined Fleet
First Sino-Japanese War
Battle of Weihaiwei Russo-Japanese War
Battle of Port Arthur
Battle of Tsushima World War I World War II
Order of the Golden Kite(3rd class)
nihongo|Kantarō Suzuki, 1st Baron |鈴木 貫太郎|Suzuki Kantarō|extra=
18 January 1868- 17 April 1948was an admiral in the Imperial Japanese Navyand 42nd Prime Minister of Japanfrom 7 April 1945to 17 August 1945.
Suzuki was a key voice in favor of Japan's acceptance of the
Potsdam Declarationand full surrender to the Allied Powers, thus ending World War II.
Suzuki was born in Kuze village,
Izumi Province(modern Sakai, Osaka Prefectureto a " samurai" magistrate of the Sekiyado Domain. He grew up in the city of Noda, Kazusa Province(present day Chiba Prefecture).
Suzuki entered the 14th class of the
Imperial Japanese Naval Academyin 1884, graduating 13th of 45 cadets in 1888. Suzuki served on the corvette "Tsukuba", corvette "Tenryu" and cruiser "Takachiho" as a midshipman. On being commissioned as ensign, he served on the gunboat "Amagi", corvette "Takao", corvette "Jingei", ironclad warship "Kongō" , and gunboat "Maya". After his promotion to lieutenantin 1892, he served as chief navigator on the corvette "Kaimon", "Hiei", and Kongō.
Suzuki served in the
First Sino-Japanese War, commanding a torpedo boatand participated in night torpedoassault in the Battle of Weihaiwei. Afterwards, he was assigned to a number of staff positions including that of naval attachéto Germanyfrom 1901-1903. On his return, he was promoted to commanderand made executive officerof the "Kasuga".
Russo-Japanese War, Suzuki commanded the 2nd Destroyer Division in 1904, and the 4th Destroyer Division in 1905, which picked up survivors of the Port Arthur Blockade Squadron. He was appointed executive officerof the cruiser "Kasuga" on 26 February 1904, aboard which he participated in the pivotal naval Battle of Tsushima.
After the war, he commanded the
destroyer"Akashi" (1908), followed by the cruiser"Soya" (1909), battleship"Shikishima" (1911) and cruiser"Tsukuba" (1912). Promoted to rear admiralon 23 May 1913and assigned to command the Maizuru Naval District. Suzuki became Vice Minister of the Navy from 1914 -1917, during World War I.
vice admiralon 1 June 1917, in early 1918 he brought the cruisers "Asama" and "Iwate" to San Franciscowith 1000 cadets, and was received by USN Rear Admiral William Fullam. The Japanese cruisers then proceeded to South America.
After stints as Commandant of the Imperial Japanese Naval Academy, Commander of the
IJN 2nd fleet, then the IJN 3rd fleet, then Kure Naval District, he became a full admiralon 3 August 1923. Suzuki became Commander in Chiefof Combined Fleetin 1924. After serving as Chief of Imperial Japanese Navy General Stafffrom 1925 to 1929, he retired and accepted the position as Grand Chamberlain and Privy Councillor.
Suzuki narrowly escaped assassination in the
February 26 Incidentin 1936; the would-be assassin's bullet remained inside Suzuki for the rest of his life, and was only revealed upon his cremation. Suzuki was opposed to Japan's war with the United States, before and throughout World War II.
7 April 1945, following the Battle of Okinawa, Prime Minister Kuniaki Koisoresigned and Suzuki was appointed to take his place at the age of seventy-seven. (United States President Franklin D. Rooseveltdied less than a week later.)
Prime Minister Suzuki contributed to the final peace negotiations with the Allied Powers in
World War II. He was involved in calling two unprecedented imperial conferences which helped resolve a split with in the Japanese Imperial Cabinet over the Potsdam Declaration. He outlined the terms to Emperor Hirohitowho had already agreed to accept unconditional surrender. This went strongly against the military faction of the cabinet, who desired to continue the war in hopes of negotiating a more favorable peace agreement. Part of this faction attempted to assassinate Suzuki twice in Kyūjō Incidenton the morning of 15 August 1945.
After the surrender became public, Suzuki resigned and Prince Higashikuni became next prime minister.
Suzuki died of natural causes. His grave is in his home town of Noda, Chiba. One of his two sons became director of Japan's immigration service, while the other was a successful lawyer.
last = Frank
first = Richard
year = 2001
title = Downfall: The End of the Imperial Japanese Empire
publisher = Penguin
location = ISBN 0141001461
last = Gilbert
first = Martin
year = 2004
title = The Second World War: A Complete History
publisher = Holt
location = ISBN 0805076239
last = Keegan
first = John
year = 2005
title = The Second World War
publisher = Penguin
location = ISBN 0143035738
* [http://alsos.wlu.edu/qsearch.aspx?browse=people/Suzuki,+Kantaro Annotated bibliography for Kantaro Suzuki from the Alsos Digital Library for Nuclear Issues]
last = Nishida
first = Hiroshi
url = http://homepage2.nifty.com/nishidah/e/px14.htm#a001
title = Imperial Japanese Navy
accessdate = 2007-08-25
* [http://www.geocities.jp/torikai007/war/1945/suzuki.html Kantaro Suzuki and Pcific War at 1945] ja
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