Sputnik Escalates the Cold War
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Fujiyama Aiichirō (1897–1985)

Japanese businessman, politician, and foreign minister (1957–1960). Born in Tokyo on 22 May 1897, Aiichirō Fujiyama attended Keio University and became an influential representative of big business in prewar Japan. In 1944, he helped to precipitate the fall of wartime Prime Minister Hideki Tōjō's government. Fujiyama was then purged from public life for three years following Japan's surrender. He subsequently returned to the business world and undertook several diplomatic missions, including participation as a member of the Japanese delegation to the 1951 United Nations Economic, Social and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) conference in Paris and the 1955 Bandung Conference.

In July 1957 Prime Minister Kishi Nobusuke unexpectedly asked Fujiyama to serve as foreign minister. In this post, Fujiyama believed that Japan should serve as a mediator between the communist and capitalist states and that Japan should reach out to the People's Republic of China (PRC).

Fujiyama viewed Japan's relationship with the United States in strictly utilitarian terms, arguing that Japan should provide basing rights to the United States in return for security guarantees. Hence, he undertook the delicate task of renegotiating the United States–Japan Security Treaty in January 1960, fully expecting restored relations with the PRC to follow. However, the popular crisis sparked by the undemocratic ratification of the treaty forced Nobuske's cabinet to resign on 19 July 1960, effectively ending Fujiyama's diplomatic career. He remained in parliament, however, concentrating his political energies on winning diplomatic recognition for the PRC. Fujiyama retired from politics in 1975 and died on 22 February 1985 in Tokyo.

C. W. Braddick


Further Reading
Bamberg, James. British Petroleum and Global Oil, 1950-75: The Challenge to Nationalism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000.; Fujiyama, Aiichirō. Seiji waga michi [My Political Path]. Tokyo: Asahi Shimbunsha, 1976.; Welfield, John. An Empire in Eclipse: Japan in the Postwar American Alliance System. London: Athlone, 1988.
 

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