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Makoto Saito

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Makoto Saito (1858-1936) was an officer of the Imperial Japanese Navy, Prime Minister of Japan, and Lord Privy Seal; he was assassinated, while holding the latter position, in the February 26, 1936 Incident.

An 1879 graduate of the Japanese Naval Academy, he was naval attache to the United States from 1884 to 1888. He then served on the Naval General Staff and commanded warships, and was Vice Navy Minister at the time of the Russo-Japanese War.

Moving up to Navy Minister, he served for eight years, from the first Saionji to the first Yamamoto Cabinet. He was promoted to Admiral in 1912.

In 1919, he became the fourth governor-general of Korea. In 1927, he was the Japanese representative to the Geneva Conference on Disarmament, and joined the Privy Council.

In 1932, after the March 1931 Incident, in which Prime Minister Tsuyoshi Inukai was assassinated, he became the prime minister of the national unity cabinet. In 1934, after his cabinet resigned because over a bribery scandal, the Teijin Incident. His government was succeeded by that of Keisuki Okuda.

He became Lord Privy Seal, the closest adviser to the Emperor, but died at the hands of the rebrls the February 26 Incident.