Sato Eisaku (1901-1975)
Sato Eisaku (1901-1975), Japanese statesman and Nobel laureate, born in Tabuse. Sato received a law degree from Tokyo Imperial University in 1924 and joined the ministry of railways. He was elected to the lower house of the Diet in 1948 as a Liberal and later served in several cabinet posts. In 1964 he became prime minister. Under Sato's guidance the country continued to grow as a major power. In 1969 he signed a treaty with the United States for the return of the Ryukyu Islands to Japan and removal of U.S. nuclear weapons from the region, but he was forced to resign in 1972 because he had allowed some U.S. forces to remain on Okinawa. He was awarded the 1974 Nobel Peace Prize for his role in the conclusion of a nuclear nonproliferation pact.