Hideki Tojo was the Prime Minister of Japan during World War II. He spearheaded the military campaign in the Pacific Theater, and at the end of the war he was tried and executed for war crimes due to his participation. A career military officer before becoming a politician, Tojo had a reputation for being a strict disciplinarian and ruthlessly ambitious.Continue Reading
Tojo graduated at the top of his class from the Japanese Military Academy in 1905. He rose quickly through the ranks to become an officer, and in 1936 his role in subduing anti-government rebels secured him a position as one of Emperor Hirohito's most trusted confidants. In 1941, he was appointed prime minister, giving him control of the military branch of the Japanese government and making him arguably the most powerful man in the country after the emperor.
Tojo was a fascist who had a great deal of respect for European dictators like Hitler and Mussolini. He wanted East Asia to be run with the same kind of ruthless efficiency and attention to order. He had a hand in the Pearl Harbor attacks, as well as the military campaign against mainland China and Korea. In 1944, he was tried and convicted by the International Military Tribunal for the Far East.Learn more about World War 2