Prime Minister from 1932-1934
Cabinet List Saito Makoto cabinet
Tenure as Prime Minster: 774 days.
Born in Iwate prefecture

Saito graduated from the Japanese Naval Academy in 1879 and went to the United States for study in 1884, remaining there for some years as naval attache to the Japanese legation. After serving as vice-minister and chief of naval administration, Saito was naval minister from 1906 to 1914.

Appointed governor-general of Korea (Chosen sotoku) (1919?27), he inaugurated a moderate period of Japanese rule that also has been described as a change from the "military policies" (budan seiji) of his predecessors to a "cultural policy" (bunka seiji), which, however, still did include assimilation of the Koreans.

In 1932 Saito was named prime minister after the assassination of Prime Minister Inukai Tsuyoshi in the May 15th Incident. In defiance of world opinion, his government formally recognized the puppet state of Manchukuo created by the Japanese Kwantung army in occupied Manchuria and withdrew from the League of Nations. The Saito cabinet resigned in July 1934, following the Teijin Incident, a corruption scandal.

In 1935 Saito was named keeper of the privy seal (naidaijin). He was assassinated by army officers during the February 26th Incident of 1936 (ni-ni-roku jiken).

Saito Makoto, 1858-1936