Double Victory: Minorities and Women During World War II
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Higashikuni Naruhiko, Prince of Japan (1887–1990)

Japanese army officer, politician, and member of the Imperial Family. Born in Kyoto on 3 December 1887, Prince Higashikuni was a younger brother of Prince Asaka. Higashikuni graduated from Tokyo Army Cadet School in 1908 and the Military Academy in 1914. He studied at the French Defense Academy from 1920 to 1922. Following various staff and line posts, Higashikuni was promoted to lieutenant general in 1933. He was appointed commander in chief of the 2nd Division in 1933 and of the 4th Division in 1934.

Promoted to full general in 1939, Prince Higashikuni served as commander in chief of the Home Defense Command between December 1941 and April 1945. Higashikuni was one of the pivotal figures opposing the Tojo Hideki cabinet and in favor of an early peace with the Allies. Following the resignation of the Suzuki Kantaro Cabinet, in the immediate aftermath of Japanese surrender, Higashikuni led a transitional Japanese cabinet between 17 August and 9 October 1945. He then retired from politics altogether. Higashikuni died in Tokyo on 20 January 1990.

Tohmatsu Haruo


Further Reading
Dower, John. Embracing Defeat: Japan in the Wake of World War II. New York: W. W. Norton, 1999.; Large, Stephen S. Emperor Hirohito and Showa Japan: A Political Biography. London and New York: Routledge, 1992.; Morley, James Williams, ed. The Final Confrontation: Japan's Negotiations with the United States, 1941. New York: Columbia University Press, 1994.; Shillony, Ben-Ami. Politics and Culture in Wartime Japan. Oxford, UK: Clarendon Press, 1981.
 

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