Katsuo Okazaki

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Katsuo Okazaki
Katsuo Okazaki.jpg
Minister for Foreign Affairs
In office
30 October 1952 – 9 December 1954
Prime MinisterShigeru Yoshida
Preceded byShigeru Yoshida
Succeeded byMamoru Shigemitsu
Chief Cabinet Secretary
In office
6 May 1950 – 26 December 1951
Prime MinisterShigeru Yoshida
Preceded byKaneshichi Masuda
Succeeded byShigeru Hori
Chairman of the Shanghai Municipal Council
In office
5 January 1942 – 1 August 1943
Preceded byJohn Hellyer Liddell
Succeeded byCouncil disbanded
Personal details
Born10 July 1897
Kanagawa, Japan
Died10 October 1965(1965-10-10) (aged 68)
Tokyo, Japan
Political partyLiberal Democratic Party (1955–1963)
Other political
Democratic Liberal Party (1949–1950)
Liberal Party (1950–1955)
Alma materTokyo Imperial University

Katsuo Okazaki (岡崎 勝男, Okazaki Katsuo, 10 July 1897 – 10 October 1965) was a Japanese sportsman, diplomat and political figure. He served as the Japanese foreign minister in the 1950s. He was also the final – and only Japanese – chairman of the Shanghai Municipal Council.

Early life[edit]

Okazaki was born on 10 July 1897 in Kanagawa, Japan. He was the 10th son of Yasunosuke Okazaki.[1] He studied law at the University of Tokyo and then joined the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.[2]

Sporting prowess[edit]

Okazaki participated in the 1924 Paris Olympic Summer Games, qualifying for the 5,000 m final with a time of 15.22.2e.[3] In the final, he fainted in the heatwave and was carried away by medics.[4] He had much success at the Far Eastern Championship Games, winning the mile run at the 1921 Games then doing a middle-distance double in the mile and 880 yards at the 1923 event in Osaka.[5]

Consular positions[edit]

Okasaki served as second secretary to the Japanese Embassy in Washington, D.C. in the early 1930s.[6]

He also served in numerous positions in China during the 1930s, including serving as Japanese Consul-General in Nanjing after the Fall of Nanking to the Imperial Japanese Army and during the Nanking Massacre. In 1938, he was serving as Japanese Consul General in Canton.[7] In October 1939 was appointed Japanese Consul at Hong Kong, a position he held until January 1941.[8]

Shanghai Municipal Council[edit]

In early January 1942 he was appointed as Chairman of the Shanghai Municipal Council after the British and American members resigned following the commencement of the Pacific War and the occupation of the Shanghai International Settlement by Japanese troops.[9] He served until 1943 when the Council was disbanded.

Surrender of Japan[edit]

The Japanese representatives on board USS Missouri during the surrender ceremonies on 2 September 1945. Okazaki is in the second row, second from the left (in top hat).

Okazaki took part in the surrender negotiations between the Japanese emissaries and American military officials on Iejima in 1945. He was present as a representative of Japan at the formal surrender on 2 September 1945 aboard the USS Missouri.

Post-war political and diplomatic career[edit]

Okazaki in 1951

Okazaki was elected to the Japanese House of Representatives in 1949. In 1951, he was appointed by Prime Minister Shigeru Yoshida as Chief Cabinet Secretary and state minister without portfolio.[2]

In 1952, he was appointed Foreign Minister and served in that position until 1954. In 1954, building on work by Ikeda, Okazaki signed a Mutual Security Assistance (MSA) Agreement with U.S. Ambassador John Allison.[10]

In 1961 he was called out of retirement to serve in the United Nations in what was described at the time as a move to strengthen the Japanese delegation. He served as Japan's delegate to the United Nations from April 1961 to July 1963.[11]


Okazaki died on 10 October 1965 in Tokyo of a stomach ulcer at the age of 68.[11]

Family members[edit]

Okazaki was married to Shimako with whom he had a son, Taro, and a daughter, Yoshiko.[12]

He is the grandfather of the Japanese-American figure skater Kyoko Ina, Yoshiko's daughter.[13]


  1. ^ 『第廿一版 人事興信録 上』
  2. ^ a b Obituary, New York Times, Oct 12, 1965, p47
  3. ^ Sports Reference for Katsuo Okazaki https://www.sports-reference.com/olympics/athletes/ok/katsuo-okazaki-1.html
  4. ^ Raevuori, Antero (1997). Paavo Nurmi, juoksijoiden kuningas (in Finnish) (2nd ed.). WSOY. p. 174. ISBN 951-0-21850-2.
  5. ^ Far Eastern Championships. GBR Athletics. Retrieved on 2014-12-18.
  6. ^ T Maga, Judgment at Tokyo: The Japanese War Crimes Trials, p. 41
  7. ^ China Monthly Review Volume 86, page 422
  8. ^ Hong Kong Government Gazette, October 25, 1939
  9. ^ New York Times, Jan 9, 1942, p4
  10. ^ Geffard, Sydney (1997). Japan Among the Powers, 1890-1990. Yale University Press. ISBN 978-0-300-06891-7. ISBN 0-300-06891-3.
  11. ^ a b Washington Post, October 12, 1965, pC4
  12. ^ Yoshiko's name could possibly be Toshiko. Obituary, New York Times, Oct 12, 1965, p47 The New York Times' obituary referred to Okazaki's daughter as "Toshiko". Other articles refer to her as Yoshiko or Yoshi. See for example New York Times, "FIGURE SKATING; High Hopes in a Tough Season", January 5, 1998. Her mother's name in Japanese is "淑子" which can be read either Yoshiko or Toshiko. See: http://olympico.cocolog-nifty.com/olympic_plus/2005/10/33_45b1.html
  13. ^ Sports Reference for Kyoko Ina https://www.sports-reference.com/olympics/athletes/in/kyoko-ina-1.html
House of Representatives of Japan
Preceded by
Saburo Ogoshi
Chair, Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives of Japan
Succeeded by
Goro Morishima
Political offices
Preceded by
Kaneshichi Masuda
Chief Cabinet Secretary
Succeeded by
Shigeru Hori
Preceded by
Shigeru Yoshida
Minister for Foreign Affairs
Succeeded by
Mamoru Shigemitsu
Government offices
New office Director, Intelligence and Analysis Service of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Japan
Succeeded by
Shoji Ogata
Diplomatic posts
Consulate evacuated Japanese Consul General to Guangzhou
Succeeded by
Nagao Kita
Preceded by
Akiyoshi Tajiri
Japanese Consul General to Hong Kong
Succeeded by
Seiki Yano
N/A Japanese Consul General to Kolkata
Office abolished
Preceded by
Koto Matsudaira
Japanese Ambassador to the United Nations
Succeeded by
Akira Matsui