Kiichiro Hiranuma, Baron

Hiranuma, Kiichiro, Baron (kēˌēˈchērō hēräˈnōmä) [key], 1865–1952, Japanese statesman, founder of the Kokuhonsha, a powerful militaristic and reactionary society. He became minister of justice in 1923. The following year he founded the Kokuhonsha, which drew support from high military, business, and political circles. By 1926, Hiranuma was vice president of the privy council. He influenced Japan's withdrawal from the League of Nations, the abrogation of the Washington Naval Treaty, and the signing of the Anti-Comintern Pact. After the abortive military coup of Feb., 1936, Hiranuma became president of the privy council. He was prime minister for eight months in 1939, resigning after the Russo-German pact was signed. He continued to serve as president of the privy council, was home minister in 1940, and supported Tojo's call for a fight to the finish in 1945. Arrested as a war criminal in 1946, he was condemned to life imprisonment, but was released in 1951.

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