Hachiro Arita was born in Sado, Niigata Prefecture, Japan on 21 September 1884, and he joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs after graduating from the Tokyo Imperial University law school in 1909. Arita was a member of the Japanese delegation to the signing of the Treaty of Versailles in 1919, and he also served at the Mukden and Honolulu consulates. In 1930, he served as ambassador to Austria, and he became Foreign Minister in 1938, serving for less than three months. He opposed the Tripartite Pact and pushed for better relations with the United States, but the growing role of the Imperial Japanese Army in politics forced him to agree to compromises instead. He died in Tokyo in 1965 at the age of 80.