Suzuki, who served as a lieutenant general in the Imperial Army, was the last surviving member of a group of top leaders convicted of war crimes. He was the primary planner of Japan's wartime economy, serving as state minister of the Planning Board from 1941 to 1943. After Japan's defeat in 1945, he stood trial along with Prime Minister Hideki Tōjō and 26 other wartime leaders. Tojo and six others were condemned and hanged. Suzuki was given a life sentence by the International Military Tribunal for the Far East in 1948, but he was released on parole from Sugamo Prison for war crimes in Tokyo in 1955 and given a full pardon. After briefly returning to government service, he dropped from public view and refused to see reporters. He died of heart failure on July 15, 1989 at 100 years old. He was the last surviving defendant of the main Tokyo/Nuremberg trials, outliving Rudolph Hess, who had committed suicide two years earlier.