Double Victory: Minorities and Women During World War II
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Takagi Sokichi (1893–1979)

Japanese navy admiral who believed his country should not enter into a war with the United States and subsequently advocated an early peace. Born in Kumamoto Prefecture, Japan, on 1 November 1893, Takagi Sokichi graduated from the Naval Academy in 1915, the Navigation School in 1922, and the Naval Staff College in 1927. He spent most of his naval career in staff positions. Promoted to lieutenant commander in 1927, he was a resident officer in France between 1927 and 1930 and was assigned as private secretary to the minister of the navy from 1930 to 1932. After rising to commander in 1933, he served as an instructor at the Naval War College from 1933 to 1936. He then had charge of the Research Section of the Navy Ministry between 1937 and 1939. He became a captain in 1939 and returned to head the Research Section from 1940 to 1942. Takagi opposed the decision by the Japanese leadership to go to war with the United States and was transferred as chief of staff of Maizuru Naval Base in 1942.

Promoted to rear admiral in 1943, Takagi was regarded as the navy's leading intellectual. Navy Minister Shimada Shigetaro asked him to compile a report on the lessons to be learned from the war, but Takagi went beyond the assigned task and concluded that Japan had to make peace as quickly as possible and that the government headed by General Tojo Hideki would have to be replaced. Reluctant to show the report to Shimada, Takagi entered into an abortive plot to assassinate Tojo. He was transferred to the Research Department of the Naval War College, where he worked from 1944 to 1945, and with encouragement from the new minister of the navy, Yonai Mitsumasa, he prepared a top-secret report on the best way for Japan to withdraw from the war. Because of his efforts to remove Tojo from power and his realistic approach to ending the war, he has been highly regarded by Japanese naval historians. Takagi died on 27 June 1979.

Hirama Yoichi


Further Reading
Evans, David C., and Mark R. Peattie. Kaigun: Strategy, Tactics, and Technology in the Imperial Japanese Navy, 1887–1941. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1997.; Takagi Sokichi. Takagi Sokichi Nitsuki (Dairy of Takagi Sokichi). Tokyo: Mainichi Shinbun, 1945.
 

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