The Shinobi world in Naruto is ruthless and only the strongest can survive. However, certain leaders have gone out of their way to make the place safer for their people. After all, why risk a battle when a conversation can potentially solve the problem?
While diplomacy has not appeared often in the series, there were some leaders who excelled in it. Their diplomatic skills were crucial to restoring peace in the world. Follow along as we rank the most diplomatic leaders in Naruto below.
Disclaimer: The list reflects the author's opinion, and contains spoilers.
Minato, Tsunade and 8 other leaders in Naruto who chose diplomacy over conflict
A is not the first leader you would think about when talking about diplomacy. He is one of the harshest Kages in the world with a military mindset. However, when situation called for it, he was the one to take the first step in creating the Shinobi Alliance.
As the threat of the Akatsuki began to spark widespread concern, A was the Kage who suggested a meeting between the leaders of the villages so they could talk about it. He was still as close-minded as ever, but at least he tried the diplomatic approach.
Although not much is known about Minato’s time as a Hokage, fans are aware that he was elected shortly after the Third Shinobi War was over. He was in charge of stabilizing the Village for this new period of peace, and that is exactly what he did.
If left alive, he could have also prevented the coup that was being planned by the Uchiha clan against Konoha. It was shown in a filler episode that Minato would have been able to negotiate with the Uchihas and stop the horrible massacre that occurred in the official timeline.
Tsunade became Hokage after the Leaf’s destruction at the hands of Orochimaru. She continued with Hiruzen’s peaceful ways and was in charge of mending relationships with the Sand after they were manipulated by the snake Sanin.
Her achievements as a Hokage were not really talked about during Naruto, but there is no doubt that she was a great leader and a successful diplomat. There were no international crises during her time as Hokage which means that she was able to maintain healthy relationships with the other villages.
Yagura’s cruelty in Kirigakure rendered it impossible for someone to make things worse for the inhabitants of the Mist. However, their luck blossomed when Mei became their next leader. Mei is known as the Mizukage responsible for ending Yagura’s reign of terror.
She wanted her village to stop their inhumane traditions and open up to the rest of the world. Mei was immediately willing to join forces with the other 4 Kages in order to protect her home and their newfound peace.
Hiruzen has a bad reputation of being one of the worst Hokages in the series. He was considered a weak leader, but he was actually one of the strongest. Hiruzen simply preferred diplomacy over brutal display of strength, but it did end up causing several problems later on in his career.
One of his most severe mistakes was to allow his peaceful ways to blind him to the reality of the Uchiha coup until it was too late. He just wanted to avoid wars at any cost so the new generations would not have to suffer the way he did, but the timing was off.
Gaara is the youngest Kage ever, assuming the role at the tender age of 15. He immediately did all he could to improve Sunagakure’s relationship with the Leaf since the situation between the two villages was tense after Orochimaru's attack.
As soon as Gaara came to power, he implemented a treaty with Konoha in order to create an alliance between the two villages. He would regularly send ninjas from the Sand as ambassadors and help Konoha in any way he could.
Like his former teacher Minato, Kakashi took on the job of preparing the villagers of Konoha for their new life after the Fourth Shinobi War. He was in charge of leading his people into a period of world peace and cooperation with other villages.
Kakashi was seen interacting with his fellow Kages several times while he was in power, and there were never any international problems. The Leaf when Naruto came to power was prosperous and peaceful, which means that Kakashi successfully maintained stability in his home village.
Chojuro is Kirigakure’s current Mizukage, and he has been present in several diplomatic meetings among the five Kages in the past. Since his rise to power, Kirigakure has started to become more accessible for others to visit, just like his predecessor Mei wanted.
His diplomatic nature came to the forefront recently when the Funato declared an attack against his village. Chojuro could have counter-attacked at any moment but he was willing to give peace a chance. He allowed the new team 7 to talk with Ikada, helping them achieve a peaceful resolution to the conflict.
Hashirama grew up in a world with constant wars and deaths occurring around him. However, he was a visionary who wanted the rival clans to unite. He dreamt of creating a safe place for all of them. With the help of his mysterious friend, who turned out to be Madara Uchiha, he created Konohagakure to serve this purpose.
He was always trying to mend relationships between rival clans. Making Madara his second-in-command was one such move. He would later create an alliance with the Uzumaki clan from Uzushiogakure, marrying a member of their clan years after the alliance was formed.
Naruto is the best diplomat the franchise has ever seen. Even before he was elected as Hokage, he was inspiring change in the hearts of many of his enemies with a non-violent approach. While he was still a Genin, he was able to make Zabusa realize how important Haku was to him. He was also able to break the cycle of revenge that trapped Nagato and Obito for several years, returning them to the path of light.
At the moment, Naruto is the glue that holds the five Kages together as friends since there is no better diplomat in the Shinobi world.
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