Double Victory: Minorities and Women During World War II
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Sakurai Seizo (1889–1985)

Japanese army general. Born in Yamaguchi Prefecture on 27 June 1889, Sakurai Seizo graduated from the Military Academy in 1911 and was commissioned in the infantry. He graduated from the War College in 1919. Sakurai was posted to the army General Staff four times: 1915–1916, 1921–1924, 1927–1928, and 1929–1934. A specialist in transportation, he was assigned to the Maritime Transportation Unit of the General Staff, which he headed from 1930 to 1934. From 1924 to 1926, Sakurai was a resident officer in France.

Promoted to colonel in 1934, Sakurai commanded the 77th Infantry Regiment in 1934 and 1935. He served as an investigator in the Cabinet Investigation Bureau and in the Planning Agency in 1936 and 1937. He was assigned to the 1st Shipping Transportation Headquarters in 1937 and the Army Transportation Department in 1938. Promoted to major general in 1938, Sakurai commanded an infantry brigade in the 22nd Division during the Sino-Japanese War (1938–1940), moving to be chief of staff of Thirteenth Army in central China (1940–1941).

Promoted to lieutenant general in 1941, Sakurai took command of the 33rd Division and led it in the invasion of Burma in January 1942. In 1943, he was appointed chief of the Armor Headquarters under the minister of war. He returned to Burma to command the newly established Twenty-Eighth Army and led it in Operation ha-go in January 1944, skillfully executing the Japanese retreat across the Sittang River in March and April. He continued to conduct delaying actions in Burma until the end of the war in August 1945. Sakurai died in Tokyo on 7 July 1985.

Nakayama Takashi


Further Reading
Allen, Louis. Burma: The Longest War, 1941–1945. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1984.; Callahan, Raymond A. Burma, 1942–1945. London: Davis-Poynton, 1978.
 

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