Kōki Hirota (February 14, 1878 – December 23, 1948) was a Japanese diplomat, politician and the 32nd Prime Minister of Japan from March 9, 1936 to February 2, 1937. In terms of foreign policy, the Anti-Comintern Pact with Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy was signed under his cabinet. This treaty was the predecessor to the Tripartite Pact of 1940. In 1945, however, Hirota returned to government service to lead Japanese peace negotiations with the Soviet Union. Following Japan's surrender, Hirota was arrested as a war criminal and was brought before the International Military Tribunal for the Far East. He was sentenced to death by hanging, and was executed at Sugamo Prison.
- If you want to maintain the superiority of your state at the present time, you must quickly enter into a coalition with Germany and Italy and thus restrain Europe and create a firm foundation for imperial policy in the Far East.
- Quoted in "Japan at the Crossroads" - Page 64 - by Walter Smith - 1936
- As you can see, I'm in good health. I have no message; just tell them, please, that I went to my death quietly and in good health.
- Quoted in "War Criminal: The Life and Death of Hirota Koki" - Page 296 - by Saburō Shiroyama - 1977
- I am having a very difficult time. Things happen unexpectedly.
- Quoted in "The Rising Sun: The Decline and Fall of the Japanese Empire" - Page 49 - by John Toland - History - 2003
- Japan cannot remain indifferent to anyone's taking action, under any pretext, which is prejudicial to the maintenance of law and order in st Asia for which she, if only in view of her geographic position, has the most vital concern.
- Quoted in "Modern Japan: A Brief History" - Page 135 - by Arthur E. Tiedemann - 1962
- Other powers will continue to enjoy an equal right to trade in and develop the natural resources of the occupied territory, for the economic development of which the investment of foreign capital is very desirable.
- Quoted in "British Relations with China" - Page 138 - by Irving Sigmund Friedman - History - 1940
- We have successfully built up our national strength and prestige, accepting and adding to our civilization the art and science of the West. Now, I believe, the time has come for us to carry our art and culture to other countries.
- To the Japanese Parliament on January 21, 1936. Quoted in "The Virginia quarterly review: A National Journal of Literature and Discussion" - Page 164 - by University of Virginia - 1936
- I investigated reported Japanese atrocities committed by the Japanese Army in Nanking and elsewhere. Verbal accounts of reliable eyewitnesses and letters from individuals whose credibility is beyond question afford convincing proof that the Japanese Army behaved and is continuing to behave in a fashion reminiscent of Attila and his Huns. Not less than 300,000 Chinese civilians were slaughtered, many in cold blood.
- Quoted in "Nanking 1937: Memory and Healing" - Page 56 - by Robert Sabella, Fei Fei Li, David Liu - History - 2002