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Toshikazu Kase, 101; Diplomat Present at WWII Surrender

June 01, 2004|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Toshikazu Kase, 101, a veteran diplomat who took part in the signing of Japan's surrender to the United States in World War II and other major events in his country's modern history, died May 21 of heart failure in Kamakura, Japan.

Born in Chiba prefecture east of Tokyo on Jan. 12, 1903, Kase studied at Amherst College and Harvard University. He joined Japan's Foreign Ministry and was director of the North America division when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor.

At war's end, Kase was aboard the USS Missouri as Gen. Douglas MacArthur presided at the signing of Japan's unconditional surrender. Kase went on to become Japan's first ambassador to the United Nations.

After retiring from government service, the diplomat became a newspaper columnist and lecturer.

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