Naotake Satō

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Naotake Satō
Naotake Sato.jpg
Foreign Minister of Japan
In office
March 1937 – June 1937
Preceded bySenjūrō Hayashi
Succeeded byKōki Hirota
Personal details
Born(1882-10-30)October 30, 1882
DiedDecember 18, 1971(1971-12-18) (aged 89)
Spouse(s)Fumi Satō

Naotake Satō (佐藤 尚武, Satō Naotake, October 30, 1882 – December 18, 1971) was a Japanese diplomat and politician. He was born in Osaka. He graduated from the Tokyo Higher Commercial School (東京高等商業学校| Tōkyō Kōtō Shōgyō Gakkō, now Hitotsubashi University) in 1904, attended the consul course of the same institute, and quit studying there in 1905.


He was born on October 30, 1882.

He was an active politician and diplomat. In 1905, he passed the Foreign Service exam and started to work at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. After serving as Mukden Consul General and executive secretary of the London Naval Treaty, he served as Imperial Japan’s Ambassador to Belgium in 1930 and to France in 1933. He became Minister of Foreign Affairs (Senjūrō Hayashi Cabinet) on March 1937, and resigned on June 1937, then was assigned as Diplomatic Adviser, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, under 1st Fumimaro Konoye Cabinet and Hideki Tojo Cabinet.

He had served as the last Imperial Japan’s Ambassador to the U.S.S.R. before the Soviet invasion of Manchuria since 1942 upon the request of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Shigenori Tōgō. As Minister, he worked hard to avert war at the Imperial Diet. Allegedly, one of his missions as Japan’s Ambassador to the U.S.S.R. was to seek peace with the Allies through the assistance of the U.S.S.R. due to Soviet–Japanese Neutrality Pact under bad war conditions for Imperial Japan. However, Satō judged and reported to Tokyo that it was unlikely that the U.S.S.R. would assist Imperial Japan, because it was highly likely that Imperial Japan would lose the war, and urged it to end the war as early as possible. He was invited to the Kremlin by the U.S.S.R. Foreign Minister, Vyacheslav Molotov, on August 8, 1945, and received a declaration of war against Imperial Japan. After the war, he was elected to the House of Councillors of the National Diet of Japan in 1947, and served as a president of House of Councillors from 1949 to 1953.[1]

He died on December 18, 1971.


Preceded by
Yoshitsugu Tatekawa
Ambassador of Japan to the Soviet Union
Succeeded by
Position terminated as the Soviet government declared war on the Japanese Empire