Baron Hirota served as the Foreign Minister during the tenure of Prime Minister Saitō Makoto and the following cabinet under Admiral Okada Keisuke. In this capacity he served during the Rape of Nanking and other atrocities committed during Japan's Aggression into China. While Prime Minister, the Anti-Comintern Pact with Germany and Italy was signed. As a result of his role during the in committing aggression and atrocities towards China, Hirota was found guilty of counts 1, 27, and 55. During the trial, David F. Smith, with George Yamaoka (acting "pro hac vice") served as his American Associate Counsel. Tadashi Hanai served as his Japanese Chief Counsel with Yoshiro Ando, Goro Morishima, Masao Hirota, Shinichi Shibasawa and Hisao Yanai operating as his Japanese Associate Counsel. He was one of 7 sentenced to death and executed on at Sugamo Prison on December 23, 1948. Notably, he was the only civilian to be executed as a result of the IMTFE ruling. Controversially, he was later enshrined, along with 13 other convicted defendants, at the Yasukuni Shrine.