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Lieutenant General Tetsuzan Nagata
|Native name||永田 鉄山|
14 January 1884|
Suwa, Nagano, Japan
|Died||12 August 1935
|Allegiance||Empire of Japan|
|Service/branch||Imperial Japanese Army|
|Years of service||1904 – 1935|
|Rank||Lieutenant General (posthumous)|
Nagata was born in Suwa city in Nagano Prefecture. He graduated from the Imperial Japanese Army Academy at the top of the list in October 1904 and from the Army Staff College in November 1911. He served as military attaché to several Japanese embassies in Europe, including Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland, and Germany both before and during World War I.
On Nagata's return to Japan in February 1923, he was assigned to the Imperial Japanese Army General Staff, where he served as administrator of various departments. Promoted to colonel in March 1927, he received command of the IJA 3rd Infantry Regiment, was promoted to major general in 1932, and became the commander of the IJA 1st Infantry Brigade in 1933.
According to the testimony of Lt. General Kajitsuka Ryuji, Chief of the Medical Department of the Kwantung Army, at the Khabarovsk War Crime Trials in late 1949, in the 1930s, Nagata was the "most active supporter" of the program of conducting bacteriological or germ (biological) warfare put forth by Shiro Ishii. Ryuji testified that Ishii kept a bust of Nagata in his offices at Unit 731 headquarters in Pingfan District because he was "so grateful" to Nagata for his support. Ryuji identified Nagata as Chief of the Military Affairs Department of the Ministry of War.
Nagata was responsible for planning Japan's national mobilization strategy as Chief of Mobilization Section, Economic Mobilization Bureau, Ministry of War, to put both the military and the civilian economy on a total war footing in times of national emergency. His ideas earned him the violent animosity of the radical Kōdōha faction within the army that charged him with collusion with the zaibatsu.
Nagata was murdered in August 1935 (the Aizawa Incident) by Lt. Col. Saburo Aizawa with a sword for supposedly putting the Army "in the paws of high finance." Nagata was posthumously promoted to lieutenant general, and his assassin was shot by firing squad.
- "Materials on the Trial of Former Servicemen of the Japanese Army Charged with Manufacturing and Employing Bacteriological Weapons", Foreign Languages Publishing House, 1950, p. 295
- Sims, Japanese Political History Since the Meiji Renovation 1868–2000
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