Nagano Osami

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Nagano Osami

Nagano Osami ( Japanese 永 野 修身 ; born June 15, 1880 in Kōchi Prefecture , † January 5, 1947 in Tokyo ) was an admiral in the Imperial Japanese Navy shortly before and during World War II .


Nagano was born in 1880 in Kōchi Prefecture on Shikoku Island . In 1900 he joined the Japanese Navy as a seaman on the cruiser Matsushima. He graduated from the Japanese Naval Academy . In 1913 he was transferred to the United States as a translation and liaison officer, where he studied law at Harvard University . In April 1915 he returned to Japan and served in various officer positions on ships of the Japanese Navy. From December 1920 to November 1923 he was back in the USA as a naval attaché . In this capacity he attended the Washington Naval Conference and the signing of the Washington Naval Agreement on February 6, 1922. Returned to Japan, he was recognized as an expert on the United States and promoted to Rear Admiral ( Kaigun-Shōshō ). In 1927 he received the rank of Vice Admiral ( Kaigun-Chūjhō ) and was assigned to the staff of the Imperial Japanese Navy.

As a representative of the Japanese naval staff, he took part in the 1930 Naval Conference in London. In 1934 he was finally promoted to admiral ( Kaigun-Taishō ). At the 1935 Naval Conference , also held in London, he was the main speaker for the Japanese Navy. The Japanese withdrew from this conference in protest after they had not been granted a fleet size comparable to that of the US and Great Britain .

Nagano and other armaments advocates in the Japanese navy took this as an opportunity to increase the clout of the imperial fleet from 1936 onwards as he saw fit. Under Prime Minister Hirota Kōki Nagano was the Japanese Minister of the Navy in 1936 and in 1937 the commander of the United Fleet .

In 1941 Nagano became chief of the Japanese naval general staff. In this capacity, he advocated Admiral Yamamoto Isoroku's plan of attack , which included an attack on Pearl Harbor in the event of war between the US and Japan. He ordered the attack to be carried out immediately in the event that all diplomatic negotiations with the United States should fail. Another Japanese military action that he strategically (co) planned was the Japanese attack on the Midway Islands . In summary, it can be said that Nagano was jointly responsible for the warfare of the Japanese Navy until the spring of 1944. Nagano was promoted to Grand Admiral ( Gensui Kaigun Taishō ) in June 1943 and kept this position for the remainder of World War II until his deposition.

At the beginning of 1944, due to Japan's many military defeats in the Pacific, he had lost the trust of Emperor Hirohito . He was removed from his post by Prime Minister Tōjō Hideki, who was under pressure himself, on February 21, and was replaced by the Tōjō extremely devoted Naval Minister Shimada Shigetarō . For the rest of the war he was only an “advisor to the government”. After the US victory, he was captured in March 1946 and charged with the attack on Pearl Harbor in the Tokyo trials . He died of pneumonia in Tokyo on January 5, 1947, at the age of 66, before charges could be brought against him.