1974 – Eisaku Sato (1901–1975), the longest serving Prime Minister of Japan (1964–1972), one of the fathers of Japan’s economic power after World War II; signed the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons on behalf of the Japanese people; the first Asian to receive the Nobel Prize; and Sean MacBride (1904–1988), an Irish politician and statesman, co-founder and chairman of Amnesty International, advocate of disarmament and arms control.

Eisaku Sato held various government posts in 1950s and 1960s, including those of the Minister of Postal Services and Telecommunications, the Minister of Finance, and the Minister of International Trade and Industry. He was instrumental in signing the Treaty on Basic Relations between Japan and the Republic of Korea and in establishing diplomatic relations with South Korea. He also sought to foster friendly relations and improve trade with other countries in the region. He contributed to peaceful return of Okinawa and Ogasawara Islands to Japan by the United States and the improvement in relations with China (diplomatic ties established as late as 1972).

He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his foreign policy of peace, for preventing Japan from lapsing back into nationalism and militarism, and for holding true to the post-war, pacifist Constitution as well as for his contribution to the efforts for non-proliferation of nuclear weapons.

Sato donated half his prize to the United Nations University in Tokyo, an international academic and research centre.

Sean MacBride – a veteran of the Irish War of Independence (1919–1921) during which he joined the Irish Republican Army (IRA); in 1930s he severed all his ties with that organisation. Served as the Minister for External Affairs of Ireland in the years 1948–1951.

He acted also as United Nations Commissioner for Namibia, Chairman of the International Peace Bureau and Member of the Organization for European Economic Cooperation (today’s OECD). He was a key force in securing the acceptance of the European Convention on Human Rights (1950) drafted by the Council of Europe.

He was the co-founder of Amnesty International (1961), a non-governmental organisation opposing violations of human rights, which was granted the Nobel Peace Prize (1977) and the United Nations Human Rights Prize (1978) for services to peace.

In the years 1963–1970, he was Secretary-General of the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ). His objective was to raise the awareness of human rights and civil liberties through education, special missions, the work of observers of political processes and initiation of works on conventions related to the issue of human rights.

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