Born Oct. 27, 1858, in Mitsusawa; died Feb. 26, 1936, in Tokyo. Japanese statesman, military figure, and admiral (1916).
Saito was minister for the navy in 1913 and 1914. From 1919 to 1927 and from 1929 to 1931 he was governor-general of Korea. In 1927 he was the chief Japanese representative at the Geneva Naval Limitation Conference. Serving as prime minister from 1932 to 1934, Saito accelerated the colonization of the northeastern provinces of China, which Japan had seized, and the preparations for aggression in central China. Saito’s government carried out a policy of suppression of democratic and an-timilitary movements in the country. In 1932 and 1933 the government carried out mass arrests of Communists and activists in left-wing trade unions and other progressive organizations. Saito was assassinated during a fascist military putsch.