Shirgenori Togo was born in Kuyshu, Japan, in 1882. A member of a rich Japanese family he joined the foreign service. While working in the Berlin embassy in 1920 he married a German woman.
Hideki Tojo appointed Togo as his foreign minister in October 1941. Unhappy with Tojo's aggressive foreign policy he resigned on 1st September 1942.
After Tojo resigned, the new prime minister, Kantaro Suzuki, appointed Togo as foreign minister. He was one of only three ministers who favoured surrender at the Supreme Council meeting on 9th August 1945.
Shirgenori Togo, who was sentenced to 20 years for war crimes, died in prison on 23rd July 1950.