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Born in Osaka, he attended Tokyo Imperial University and studied at the University of London, specializing in physical chemistry and physiology. He served in the Imperial Japanese Navy during World War II, took a position in the Health Ministry after the war, and later became head of Ibaraki University. In the 1950s he served as head of the Japanese Olympic Committee and played a role in bringing the 1964 Summer Olympics to Tokyo.
In 1959, he was nominated as the Liberal Democratic Party candidate for the Tokyo gubernatorial election. He defeated Socialist candidate Hachirō Arita and took office on April 27. Much of his legacy as governor surrounds the improvements to Tokyo before and during the 1964 Olympics, and accompanying pollution and administrative issues.