Togo was the Japanese Foreign Minister, a position similar to the U.S. Sec. of State. He held this position from Oct. 1941 to Sept. 1942 and from April 1945 to Aug. 1945. Togo attempted to prevent war with the U.S. in 1941, altho he later defended Japan's decision for war (Togo, "The Cause of Japan", pg. 178 - 190). When asked in April 1945 by Premier Suzuki to again become Foreign Minister, Togo refused on the grounds that Suzuki was not committed to ending the war. When Suzuki said that Togo could work to end the war, he accepted the position (U.S. Army, "Statements of Japanese Officials", #50304).
As Foreign Minister, Togo was a member of Japan's Cabinet, the government decision-making body. He was also a member of the Supreme Council for the Direction of the War, known as the Big 6 since it had 6 members. The Big 6 was very influential in war policy decisions.
Togo, more than anyone else in the Japanese Cabinet, pushed Japan toward peace. His efforts were restricted by the military to petitioning Russia to help Japan end the war. When the Japanese Cabinet was unmoved to surrender by the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombings, Togo worked with Premier Suzuki and Privy Seal Kido to have the emperor request the Cabinet to surrender. It was this that brought Japan's surrender.
(Togo Shigenori is not to be confused with the Japanese Primier/Minister of War Tojo Hideki or Admiral Togo Heihachiro).
- Doug Long
For more information:
Togo Shigenori, The Cause of Japan
Robert Butow, Japan's Decision to Surrender
John Toland, The Rising Sun
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