Seishirō Itagaki

Japanese general (1885-1948)

Seishirō Itagaki (January 21, 1885December 23, 1948) was a Japanese military officer and politician who served as a general in the Imperial Japanese Army during World War II and War Minister from 1938 to 1939. Itagaki was a main conspirator behind the Mukden Incident and held prestigious chief of staff posts in the Kwantung Army and China Expeditionary Army during the early Second Sino–Japanese War. Itagaki became War Minister but fell from grace after Japanese defeat in the Soviet–Japanese border conflicts, serving as general for several field armies until surrendering Japanese forces in Southeast Asia in 1945. Itagaki was convicted of war crimes by the International Military Tribunal for the Far East and executed in 1948.

I am convinced that in times such as these, every man must be a soldier, in substance as well as in name.


  • Now that the Emperor has accepted the Potsdam Declaration, we must lay down our arms. Obeying the Emperor's order, we shall not fight. We must keep peace and order and we shall not make any trouble.
    • Quoted in "Red Star Over Malaya" - Page 130 - by Boon Kheng Cheah - History - 2003.
  • I am convinced that in times such as these, every man must be a soldier, in substance as well as in name.
    • Quoted in "The Fight for the Pacific" - Page 157 - by Mark Gayn - 1941.
  • The conflict between Japan and Chiang is little affected by the fall of the Wuhan cities and Sino-Japanese hostilities have just started.
    • Quoted in "Pacific Affairs: An International Review of Asia and the Pacific" - Page 1 - by University of British Columbia - Pan-Pacific relations.
  • It is a place rich in natural resources, having everything we need for national defense, a crucial place for the empire's self-reliance. The place is crucial too for our wars with China, Russia, and the U.S.
    • About sending troops to China's northeast. March 1931, from speech entitled "Manchuria and Mongolia from the Military Point of View". Quoted in "China in the World Anti-Fascist War" by Peng Xunhou - Page 23 - 2005.
  • We hope the peace will last for twenty years. Then we will be here again.
    • To the Sultan of Johore. Quoted in "Key to Japan" - Page 289 - by Willard Price - 1946.
  • The war will continue a long time. Chiang Kai-shek may attempt to continue hostilities throughout his ifetime and as long as Chiang continues, Japan must continue.
    • Quoted in "Time" - by Briton Hadden, Henry Robinson Luce - Australia - 1923 - Page 29.
  • The Chinese courts have tried many Japanese officers for their crimes against the Chinese. These men committed thousands of crimes against Koreans. They killed and persecuted thousands of our people for refusing to help the Japanese war effort. They forced Koreans into the coal mines as slave laborers and let them die of tuberculosis and neglect.
    • Quoted in "Korea would Try 2 Japanese Chiefs" from "New York Times" article - November 30, 1948.
  • I am convinced of the necessity to take an effective measure of self defense.
    • Quoted in "Oakland Tribune (Newspaper)" - February 21, 1939, Oakland, California.
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