Matsuoka, Yosuke yōso͞o´kē mätso͞o´ōkä [key], 1880–1946, Japanese statesman and diplomat. After graduating from the Univ. of Oregon, he served briefly in the foreign ministry and then entered the South Manchurian Railway Company (1921). He became a spokesman for the expansionist Japanese policy and led the Japanese delegation out of the League of Nations in 1933. He was appointed president of the South Manchurian RR in 1935. As foreign minister (1940–41) in the second Konoye cabinet he promoted the Japanese alliance with the fascist powers, helped forge the Pact of Berlin (Sept. 27, 1940), and early in 1941 signed a five-year peace pact with the USSR. After the German attack on Russia (June, 1941) he left the cabinet. Matsuoka was indicted as a war criminal after World War II but died before his trial ended.
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