- "The moment the first American soldier sets foot on the Japanese mainland, all prisoners of war will be shot."
- —Note signed by Hideki Tojo
As a general in the Imperial Japanese Army, Tojo expanded the war with China, having his forces invade territories in Northern China, and was also responsible for several atrocities committed there. He strongly advocated imperialistic militarism and was also a supporter of an alliance with Nazi Germany.
As Prime Minister, he expanded Japanese invasions into Asia and was responsible for the attack on Pearl Harbor which led to the war between the United States and Japan, although it was planned before he entered office. After winning several victories, he soon fell into disfavour as the war turned against Japan, ultimately being forced to resign near the war's end. After the war ended and the United States occupied Japan, he tried to commit suicide but failed (something which outraged the Japanese people) and he was arrested and put on trial. Determined to protect Emperor Hirohito from prosecution, Tojo claimed full responsibility for Japan's war crimes, for which he was hanged in 1948. Right before his execution, Tojo affirmed his loyalty to the emperor by declaring "May His Glorious Majesty live for ten thousand years!"