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Nobusuke Kishi (岸 信介 Kishi Nobusuke, November 13, 1896–August 7, 1987) was a Japanese politician and the 56th and 57th Prime Minister of Japan from February 25, 1957 to June 12, 1958 and from then to July 19, 1960.
He was born Nobusuke Satō in Tokyo, but left his family at a young age to move in with the more affluent Kishi family, adopting their family name. His biological younger brother, Eisaku Satō, would also go on to become a prime minister.
He attended Tokyo Imperial University (now the University of Tokyo) and entered the Ministry of Commerce and Industry in 1920. In 1935, he became one of the top officials involved in the industrial development of Manchukuo. Prime Minister Hideki Tojo, himself a veteran of the Manchurian campaign, appointed Kishi Minister of Commerce and Industry in 1941, and he held this position until Japan's surrender in 1945.
Until 1948, Kishi was imprisoned as a Class A war criminal. Unlike Tojo (and several other cabinet members), Kishi was never tried by the International Military Tribunal for the Far East. However, he stayed legally prohibited from entering public affairs because of the Allied occupation's purge of members of the old regime. When the purge was fully rescinded in 1952, Kishi decided to go into politics, and joined the new Democratic Party. In 1954, the Democratic Party and Liberal Party merged to elect Hatoyama Ichiro as the head of the new Liberal Democratic Party. Two prime ministers later, in 1957, Kishi was voted in following the resignation of the ailing Ishibashi Tanzan.
In the first year of Kishi's term, Japan joined the United Nations Security Council, paid reparations to Indonesia, set up a new commercial treaty with Australia, and signed peace treaties with Czechoslovakia and Poland. In 1959, he visited Buenos Aires, Argentina. Kishi's next foreign policy initiative was much more difficult: reworking Japan's security relationship with the United States.
That November, Kishi laid down his proposals for a revamped extension of the Anpo, the US-Japan Mutual Security Treaty. Suddenly, rioters were clashing with police in Nagatacho, at the steps of the National Diet Building. 500 people were injured in the first month's rioting. Once the protests died down, Kishi went to Washington, and in January 1960 returned to Japan with a new and unpopular Treaty of Mutual Cooperation. Demonstrations, strikes and clashes continued as the government pressed for ratification of the treaty. In June, on his way to the airport, White House Press Secretary James Hagerty was besieged in his car by protestors and had to be evacuated by military helicopter. To his embarrassment, Kishi had to request that President Dwight Eisenhower postpone his planned state visit, which never took place.
Shintaro Abe is his son-in-law, and his child Shinzo Abe is Kishi's grandson.
|Prime Minister of Japan|
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