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Born Mar. 27, 1901, in Yamaguchi Prefecture; died June 3, 1975, in Tokyo. Japanese politician and statesman. Brother of Kishi Nobosuke, the former prime minister (1957–60) of Japan.
Sato graduated from the University of Tokyo in 1924. He served in various capacities in the Ministry of Railroads until 1945. After the surrender of Japan at the end of World War II, Sato became active in politics. In 1948 and 1949 he was secretary-general of the second cabinet of Yoshida Shigeru, and in 1949 he became a member of the chamber of representatives of the Japanese diet. Between 1949 and 1964, Sato occupied various ministerial posts. He was secretary-general of the Liberal Party in 1953 and 1954, and from November 1964 through July 1972 he was prime minister and president of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party.
The basic foreign policy of the Sato government was marked by an orientation toward the USA and its allies, the preservation and strengthening of Japanese-American military and political ties, and the forging of economic links with the USA. While Sato was prime minister, Japanese relations with South Korea were normalized (1965), the Asian and Pacific Council was formed (1966) with the participation of Japan, and an agreement was signed with the USA (1972) returning the Ryukyu Islands (Okinawa Prefecture) to Japan. In addition, Soviet-Japanese relations developed significantly during this period.