Sergeant Nagata is the main antagonist of the 1987 Steven Spielberg film Empire of the Sun. He is a senior officer of the Japanese Army during World War II who runs an internment camp in Suzhou known as the the Soochow Creek Internment Camp.
He was portrayed by Masatō Ibu.
When a British kid named Jamie Graham tries to loot his neighborhood for valuables with two Americans named Basie and Frank, Japanese troops emerge from Jamie's house and apprehend them before taking them to the Lunghua Civilian Assembly Center. After a few days, Basie is selected to be taken to the Soochow Creek Internment Camp and Jamie begs the Japanese soldiers to take him there. The soldiers reluctantly take Jamie with Basie and the other citizens and they eventually arrive at the camp.
Four years later, Jamie becomes a skilled smuggler by pilfering items to trade with other prisoners and works as an assistant to Dr. Rawlins, a British camp physician. One night, when the U.S. Army raids the camp, Nagata leads his troops to attack the American and British barracks in retaliation. When Rawlins stops Nagata, he proceeds to beat him up with a stick until Jamie intervenes and pleads for Nagata to stop in Japanese. Nagata relents and throws his stick aside before leaving with his men. The next day, Basie uses Jamie to lay snares under the prison fence and he complies, unaware that he's using him to find out if there are land mines. Meanwhile, Nagata spots Jamie's shoes and heads into the marshes after him. Before Nagata could catch Jamie in the act, a teenage kamikaze pilot distracts Nagata and gestures him to come over and fix his toy plane, giving Jamie the opportunity to escape.
The prisoners reward Jamie for his efforts and prepare their strategy to escape. Nagata eventually comes by and examines Basie. Nagata then beats up Basie and Jamie begs for Nagata to spare him in Japanese, but the sergeant pushes him aside and proceeds to continue beating up Basie. The next day, Jamie witnesses Nagata and his men performing a kamikaze ritual and he sings the Welsh lullaby "Suo Gân" as the soldiers board their planes. However, the U.S. Army attacks the camp and Jamie witnesses it, while shouting with joy until Rawlins gets him to safety and he breaks down in tears, stating that he can't remember his parents' faces. Due to the attack, Nagata and the army decide to evacuate the camp with the prisoners to Nantao. Jamie learns from Frank that Basie has escaped, despite his promise to help Jamie escape with him.
The Japanese Army leaves the camp with their prisoners and many of them die from starvation and disease along the way. They eventually arrive at a football stadium, where Jamie notices the many valuables from Shanghai and stays with a woman named Mrs. Victor until her death. Jamie then witnesses the atomic bombing on Nagasaki hundreds of miles away and hears the news of Emperor Hirohito's surrender.