Noboru Takeshita was a Japanese politician and the 74th Prime Minister of Japan from 6 November 1987 to 3 June 1989. Takeshita led the largest faction at the time in the Liberal Democratic Party, which he inherited from Kakuei Tanaka, from the 1980s until his death in 2000, he was dubbed the "last shadow shogun" for his behind-the-scenes influence in Japanese politics. He was the last prime minister to serve during the long rule of Emperor Hirohito. Takeshita attended Waseda University, he married prior to World War II, when he joined the Imperial Japanese Army to serve as an instructor. His wife committed suicide while he was away for the war, which author Jacob Schlesinger argued made Takeshita obsessive about his composure and reserved about showing anger to others. After the war, he remarried, worked as an English teacher and managed a high school judo team before entering politics in 1951; as a young judo competitor, he was known as "master of the draw" for his ability to avoid defeating weaker opponents and to avert defeat by stronger opponents.
Takeshita served as a local assemblyman in Shimane Prefecture from 1951. In the 1958 general election he won a seat in the House of Representatives, joining the powerful faction of Kakuei Tanaka in the Liberal Democratic Party, he was elected at the same time as Shin Kanemaru, the two remained close allies through their respective political careers. Takeshita became Tanaka's primary fundraiser, traveling the country to garner support for the LDP's coffers. Like Tanaka, Takeshita was fond of "pork barrel" politics, retaining his own seat by bringing excessively huge public works projects to Shimane. Takeshita served as chief cabinet secretary from 1971 to 1974 and as minister of construction in 1976. Takeshita was the minister of finance from 1979 to 1980, he again accepted the finance position and was in office from 1982 to 1986. In this period, he achieved prominence as Japan's negotiator during deliberations which led to the agreement, known as the Plaza Accord in New York. In the period Takeshita was finance minister, the Yen appreciated relative to other international currencies.
The rise of the strong Yen enhanced Japan's status as a financial powerhouse and led to the Japanese asset price bubble of the 1980s. Kakuei Tanaka was arrested in connection with the Lockheed bribery scandals in 1976 and found guilty by a lower court in 1983, placing pressure on his political strength. In February 1985, Takeshita formed a "study group" called Soseikai, which counted among its ranks 43 of the 121 Tanaka faction members. Weeks after this defection, Tanaka suffered a stroke and became hospitalized, sparking further uncertainty over the future of his faction. Tanaka never recovered from his stroke, by July 1987, Takeshita's faction counted 113 of the 143 Tanaka faction members, while only thirteen supported Takeshita's rival Susumu Nikaido; the Tanaka faction members who moved to Takeshita's faction included Ichiro Ozawa, Tsutomu Hata, Ryutaro Hashimoto, Keizo Obuchi and Kozo Watanabe. In July 1986 Takeshita left the Cabinet and was named to the key post of secretary general of the party.
In November 1987, Takeshita became president of the LDP and was thus elected Prime Minister of Japan, replacing Yasuhiro Nakasone. Among the highlights of the period in which Takeshita led the government, he acknowledged that Japan had been an aggressor during World War II; this statement was part of a speech in the Japanese Diet. He was remembered within Japan for implementing the country's first consumption tax, which his government forced through the Diet in 1988 amid public opposition. Takeshita's government passed legislation liberalizing the beef and rice markets, passed an enhanced security pact with the United States, with the support of Shin Kanemaru who bought the opposition's support; the Recruit scandal forced Takeshita to resign in 1989. Although Takeshita was accused of insider trading and corruption, he was never charged and was able to retain his seat in the Diet until shortly before his death, he remained a major behind-the-scenes player in the LDP, mentoring future prime ministers Sōsuke Uno, Toshiki Kaifu, Keizō Obuchi.
Tsutomu Hata and Ichiro Ozawa left Takeshita's faction to form the Japan Renewal Party. Keizo Obuchi inherited what was left of the faction, supported the election of Ryutaro Hashimoto as prime minister, himself became prime minister from 1999 to 2000. Takeshita himself died of respiratory failure in June 2000 after over a year in hospital, during which time he was said to have "masterminded" the coalition between the LDP and New Komeito and to have arranged the election of Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori from his hospital bed, he had planned to retire from the Diet as of the 2000 general election, which occurred just days after his death. The Economist characterized his death as the end of an era, "a dizzy mixture of brilliance and corruption" in Japanese politics. Hashimoto led the former Takeshita faction until refusing to stand in the 2005 general election due to a fundraising scandal, died shortly thereafter; the remnants of the faction, formally known by this time as Heisei Kenkyūkai, remained active under the leadership of Yūji Tsushima, who resigned prior to the 2009 general election, passing control to Fukushiro Nukaga.
The faction raised much less in donations during the 1990s and 2000s than it did under Tanaka and Takeshita in the 1980s, as electoral reforms enacted in 1994, coupled with new campaign finance regulations and the ongoing economic slump that followed the Japanese asset price bubble, weakened the power
Tarō Asō is a Japanese politician, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance. Asō was the 59th Prime Minister of Japan, serving from September 2008 to September 2009, he was a member of the Japanese shooting team at the 1976 Montreal Olympics. Asō has served in the House of Representatives since 1979, he was Minister for Foreign Affairs from 2005 to 2007, was Secretary-General of the Liberal Democratic Party in 2007 and in 2008. He was President of the LDP from 2008 to 2009, his successor, Sadakazu Tanigaki, was chosen on 28 September 2009. After the LDP's victory in the 2012 general election under Shinzō Abe he was appointed to the cabinet as Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Finance, State Minister for Financial Services, he has held the positions since 26 December 2012. Asō, a Roman Catholic, was born in Iizuka in Fukuoka Prefecture on 20 September 1940, his father, Takakichi Asō, was the chairman of the Aso Cement Company and a close associate of Prime Minister Kakuei Tanaka. Tarō is a great-great-grandson of Ōkubo Toshimichi, his wife, Chikako is the third daughter of Prime Minister Zenkō Suzuki.
His younger sister, Princess Tomohito of Mikasa, is a cousin-in-law of Emperor Akihito. Asō graduated from the Faculty of Politics and Economics at Gakushuin University, the London School of Economics. Asō spent two years working for a diamond mining operation in Sierra Leone before civil war forced him to return to Japan, he joined his father's company in 1966, served as president of the Aso Mining Company from 1973 to 1979. Working for the company, he became fluent in Portuguese, he was a member of the Japanese shooting team at the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal and President of the Japan Junior Chamber in 1978. He joined the Cabinet of Jun'ichirō Koizumi in 2003 as Minister of Internal Affairs and Communications. On 31 October 2005, he became Minister for Foreign Affairs. There has been some speculation that his position in the Cabinet was due to his membership in the Kōno Group, an LDP caucus led by pro-Chinese lawmaker Yōhei Kōno: by appointing Asō as Minister for Foreign Affairs, Koizumi may have been attempting to "rein in" Kōno's statements critical of Japanese foreign policy.
Asō was one of the final candidates to replace Koizumi as prime minister in 2006, but lost the internal party election to Shinzō Abe by a wide margin. Both Abe and Asō are conservative on foreign policy issues and have taken confrontational stances towards some East Asian nations North Korea and, to a lesser extent, the People's Republic of China. Abe was considered a more "moderate" politician than the more "hard-line" Asō, led Asō in opinion polling within Japan. Asō's views on multilateralism are suggested in a 2006 speech, "Arc of Freedom and Prosperity: Japan's Expanding Diplomatic Horizons". Asō acknowledged that he would most lose to Fukuda, but said that he wanted to run so that there would be an open election, saying that otherwise LDP would face criticism for making its choice "through back-room deals". In the President election, held on 23 September, Fukuda defeated Asō, receiving 330 votes against 197 votes for Asō. On 1 August 2008, Fukuda appointed Asō as Secretary-General of LDP, a move that solidified Asō's position as the number two man in the party.
Unexpectedly on 1 September 2008, Fukuda announced his resignation as Prime Minister. Five LDP members including Asō ran for new party President to succeed Fukuda. On 21 September, one day before votes of Diet party members, Asō told a crowd of supporters outside Tokyo: "The greatest concern right now is the economy." "America is facing a financial crisis... we must not allow that to bring us down as well." On 22 September, Asō did win. He was elected as President of LDP with 351 of 525 votes. Two days on 24 September, Asō was designated by the Diet as Prime Minister, was formally appointed to the office by the Emperor on that night. In the House of Representatives, he garnered 337 out of 478 votes cast; because no agreement was reached at a joint committee of both Houses, the resolution of the House of Representatives became the resolution of the Diet, as is stipulated in the Constitution. Asō said, "If you look at the current period, it's not a stable one." And "These are turbulent times with the financial situation and everything else."Later on the same day as his election as Prime Minister, Asō announced his new Cabinet.
His Cabinet was markedly different from the preceding Cabinet under Fukuda. Five of its members had never served in the Cabinet, one of them, 34-year-old Yūko Obuchi, was the youngest member of the Cabinet in the post-war era. Prime Minister Asō flew to Washington to meet with United States President Barack Obama in February 2009, he was the first foreign leader to visit the Obama White House. After his election as prime minister Asō was expected to dissolve the lower house to clear the way for a general election, but he stressed the need for a functioning government to face the
Shinzō Abe is a Japanese politician serving as Prime Minister of Japan and Leader of the Liberal Democratic Party since 2012. He served as Prime Minister from 2006 to 2007 and Chief Cabinet Secretary from 2005 to 2006. In 2019, Abe succeeded Shigeru Yoshida as the second-longest serving Prime Minister in post-war Japan and the fourth-longest serving PM in Japanese history. Abe comes from a politically prominent family and was first elected Prime Minister by a special session of the National Diet in September 2006. Aged 52, he became Japan's youngest post-war Prime Minister and the first to have been born after World War II. Abe resigned on 12 September 2007 for health reasons after his party lost the House of Councillors election that year, he was replaced by Yasuo Fukuda, the first in a series of five Prime Ministers who failed to retain office for more than sixteen months. Abe staged a political comeback, on 26 September 2012 he defeated former Minister of Defense Shigeru Ishiba for the LDP presidency.
Following the LDP's landslide victory in the 2012 general election, he became the first former Prime Minister to return to the office since Shigeru Yoshida in 1948. He was re-elected in the 2014 general election, retaining his two-thirds majority with coalition partner Komeito, again in the 2017 general election. Abe is a conservative whom political commentators have described as a right-wing nationalist, he is a member of the revisionist Nippon Kaigi and holds revisionist views on Japanese history, including denying the role of government coercion in the recruitment of comfort women during World War II, a position which has created tension with neighboring South Korea. He is considered a hard-liner with respect to North Korea, advocates revising Article 9 of the pacifist constitution to permit Japan to maintain military forces. Abe is known internationally for his government's economic policies, nicknamed Abenomics, which pursue monetary easing, fiscal stimulus, structural reforms. Shinzō Abe was born to a politically prominent family.
His family is from Yamaguchi Prefecture, Abe's registered residence is Nagato, where his grandfather was born. His grandfather, Kan Abe, father, Shintaro Abe, were both politicians, his great-great-grandfather, the Viscount Yoshimasa Ōshima served as General in the Imperial Japanese Army. Abe's mother, Yoko Kishi, is the daughter of Nobusuke Kishi, prime minister of Japan from 1957 to 1960. Kishi had been a member of the Tōjō Cabinet during the Second World War. Since GHQ's policy changed and became more anti-communist, Kishi was released from Sugamo Prison, established the Japan Democratic Party. In his book Utsukushii Kuni e, Abe wrote, "Some people used to point to my grandfather as a'Class-A war criminal suspect', I felt strong repulsion; because of that experience, I may have become attached to'conservatism', on the contrary."In 1955, Shigeru Yoshida's Liberal Party and Kishi's Democratic Party merged as an anti-leftist coalition and was reestablished as the LDP. Abe attended Seikei Junior High School and Seikei Senior High School.
He studied public administration and graduated with a bachelor's degree in political science from Seikei University in 1977. He moved to the United States and studied public policy at the University of Southern California's School of Public Policy for three semesters. In April 1979, Abe began working for Kobe Steel, he left the company in 1982 and pursued a number of government positions including executive assistant to the Minister for Foreign Affairs, private secretary to the chairperson of the LDP General Council, private secretary to the LDP secretary-general. Shinzō Abe was elected to the first district of Yamaguchi Prefecture in 1993 after his father's death in 1991, winning the most votes of the four Representatives elected in the SNTV multi-member district. In 1999, he became Director of the Social Affairs Division, Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary in the Yoshirō Mori and Junichirō Koizumi Cabinets from 2000–2003, after which he was appointed Secretary General of the Liberal Democratic Party.
Abe is a member of the Mori Faction of the Liberal Democratic Party. This faction is headed by former prime minister Yoshirō Mori. Jun'ichirō Koizumi was a member of the Mori Faction prior to leaving it, as is the custom when accepting a high party post. From 1986 to 1991, Abe's father, headed the same faction; the Seiwa Seisaku Kenkyū-kai has 60 members in the House of Representatives and 26 in the House of Councillors. In 2000, Abe's home and the office of his supporters in Shimonoseki, in Yamaguchi Prefecture, were attacked with molotov cocktails on numerous occasions; the perpetrators were several yakuza members belonging to the Kudo-kai, a Kitakyushu-based designated boryokudan syndicate. The reason for the attacks was believed to be that Abe's local aide refused to give cash to a Shimonoseki real estate broker in return for supporting a Shimonoseki mayoral candidate in 1999. Abe was chief negotiator for the Japanese government on behalf of the families of Japanese abductees taken to North Korea.
As a part of the effort, he accompanied Koizumi to meet Kim Jong‑il in 2002. He gained national popularity when he demanded that Japanese abductees visiting Japan remain, in defiance of North Korea, he was the leader of a project team within the LDP that did a survey on "excessive sexual education and gender-free education". Among the items to which this team raised objections were anatomical dolls and other curricular materials "not taking into consideration the age of children", school policies banning traditional boys' and g
Gobō is a city located in Wakayama Prefecture, Japan. The city was founded on April 1, 1954; as of 2003, the city has an estimated population of 27,483 and the population density of 627.75 km². The total area is 43.78 km². Gobō has Kishū Railway Line, a short railroad, only 2.7 km. It runs between JR Gobō Nishi-Gobō Station at a speed of 20 km/h, taking eight minutes; this railroad is called "rinkō" by local people. Gobō's unofficial plant is the Hibiscus hamabo, a kind of hollyhock growing up to 3 to 5 metres in height, bearing yellow flowers in the summer; the hibiscus are found at the mouth of the Hidaka River with its warmer microclimate. Economically Gobō is well known for its horticulture. Gobō's slogan is "hanamaru Gobō"; the city's greenhouses produce a wide range of blooms. Gobō is well known as a mahjong tile and dice manufacturer. Gobō's leads Japan in the production of mahjong tile and dice. Gobō has "Gobō Synthesis Sport Park"; this park has training place and more. It is a popular relaxation spot among the locals.
Media related to Gobō, Wakayama at Wikimedia Commons Gobō City official website Gobō City official website
Keizō Obuchi was a Japanese politician who served in the House of Representatives for twelve terms and as the 54th Prime Minister of Japan from 30 July 1998 to 5 April 2000. His political career ended when he suffered a serious and fatal stroke. Obuchi was born in Nakanojō, Gunma Prefecture on June 25, 1937, his father, Mitsuhei Obuchi, was one of four representatives in the Diet for a district in Gunma, a rural prefecture. At the age of 13, he transferred to a private middle school in Tokyo and lived in the city for the rest of his life. In 1958, he enrolled at Waseda University as an English literature major, in hopes of becoming a writer; when his father died that same year, he decided to follow in his footsteps, so he changed his major to political science and graduated with a bachelor of arts degree in 1962. Between January and September 1963, he travelled to thirty-eight countries circumnavigating the globe and taking odd jobs as he went, as he was short on money; these included being a dishwasher, an assistant aikido instructor and a TV camera crew assistant in Berlin, the most physically demanding.
While in the United States, he met Robert F. Kennedy by walking into the attorney general's office. See also: Obuchi Cabinet That November, inspired by his talk with Kennedy, he ran for the House of Representatives and was elected to a seat representing Gunma's 3rd district, making him the youngest legislator in Japanese history at 26 years of age, he served his first term in the Diet while pursuing graduate studies at Waseda. In 1979, he became the director of the prime minister's office and director of the Okinawa Development Agency, his first cabinet post, he served there for eight years before becoming Chief Cabinet Secretary in 1987. Two years he formally announced the death of Emperor Showa; as Chief Cabinet Secretary, he was tasked in making the famous announcement of the new era name "Heisei" for the new Emperor Akihito. In 1991, he became secretary general of the LDP, in 1994 became its vice president. In 1997, Ryutaro Hashimoto appointed Obuchi as Minister of Foreign Affairs, where he shone in negotiations with Russia over Japanese claims in the Kuril Islands, as well as negotiations over the unification of Korea.
In 1998, Obuchi's time came. Hashimoto resigned as LDP president, Obuchi was named his successor; when the time came for the Diet to designate a new Prime Minister, Obuchi became only the second LDP candidate not to win the support of the upper house. However, the Constitution of Japan stipulates that if the two chambers cannot agree on a choice for Prime Minister, the choice of the House of Representatives is deemed to be that of the Diet. With the LDP's large majority in the lower house, Obuchi was formally appointed Prime Minister on 30 July. During his term, he was focused on two major issues: signing a peace treaty with Russia and reviving the Japanese economy, his solution to the latter was to increase public spending and lowering income taxes, which slowed the recession but did little to turn it around. One of his government actions was to give shopping coupons to 35 million citizens in the hope it would spark a consumer boom, his Russia policy eluded implementation before his death. Obuchi's fiscal policy focused on strengthening the core capital requirements for financial institutions while issuing more Japanese government bonds to finance public infrastructure, which boosted the rising Japanese public debt.
Obuchi was known to have enjoyed playing squash at the courts in the Canadian Embassy, in Tokyo`s Azabu. Squash players tend to be fit, as it is excellent cardio-vascular exercise; this is at odds with his depiction in Japanese media as gakeppuchi Obuchi which construed his physical health mirrored the precarious state of Japan's economy. Obuchi suffered a stroke on 1 April 2000 and slipped into a coma at Tokyo's Juntendo University Hospital; when it became apparent he would never regain consciousness, he was replaced by Yoshirō Mori on 5 April. Obuchi died on 14 May at the age of 62. Obuchi married environmental essayist Chizuko Ono in 1967, they were introduced by Tomisaburo Hashimoto, a Diet member and relative of Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto. They had two daughters, their younger daughter, Yūko Obuchi, ran for and was elected to the former prime minister's Diet seat in the 2000 elections. Obuchi was a great fan of the works of the late historical novelist Ryōtarō Shiba, a particular admirer of Sakamoto Ryōma, a key figure in the events leading to the Meiji Restoration.
Obuchi had the unusual hobby of collecting figures of oxen. It relates to the fact that he was born in the Year of the Ox, the second year of the Chinese zodiac, he started collecting the figures following his initial election to the Diet in 1963, after three and a half decades, the collection numbered in the thousands. He was devoted to aikido and enjoyed golf as well. Medal of Honour with Yellow Ribbon for Best Father Grand Cordon of the Order of the Chrysanthemum Senior Second Rank Golden Pheasant Award of the Scout Association of Japan "Profile & Personality of Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi." Japanese Prime Minister's Office site
Yoshirō Mori is a Japanese politician who served as the 55th Prime Minister of Japan between 5 April 2000 and 26 April 2001. Described as having "the heart of a flea and the brain of a shark," he was an unpopular prime minister remembered today for his many gaffes and situationally inappropriate actions, he is President of the Japan Rugby Football Union as well as the Japan-Korea Parliamentarians' Union. In 2014, he was appointed to head the organizing committee for the 2020 Summer Olympics. Yoshiro Mori was born in present-day Nomi, Japan, as the son of Shigeki and Kaoru Mori, wealthy rice farmers with a history in politics, as both his father and grandfather served as the mayor of Neagari, Ishikawa Prefecture, his mother died. He studied at the Waseda University in Tokyo, he was never a high-level player. In 1962, he left the newspaper and became secretary of a Diet member, in the 1969 general election, he was elected in the lower house at age 32, he was reelected 10 consecutive times. In 1980, he was involved in the Recruit scandal about receiving unlisted shares of Recruit before they were publicly traded, selling them after they were made public for a profit of 1 million dollars.
He was education minister in 1983 and 1984, international trade and industry minister in 1992 and 1993, construction minister in 1995 and 1996. In 1999, Mori began to assume control of the Mitsuzuka faction, headed by Hiroshi Mitsuzuka in the Liberal Democratic Party. In the midst of a battle with Liberal Party leader Ichirō Ozawa, Prime Minister Keizō Obuchi suffered a stroke and cerebral hemorrhage on 2 April 2000 and was unable to continue in office; the Cabinet resigned en masse. Mori, the secretary general of the Liberal Democratic Party, was unanimously elected president, became prime minister with the votes of the LDP, New Komeito and New Conservative Party. Mori announced; the media coverage of Mori's term as prime minister was dominated by his gaffes and undiplomatic comments. Prior to his election as prime minister, he had been described in the Japanese media as having "the heart of a flea and the brain of a shark." In January 2000, he made a joke about his campaign in the 1969 election: "When I was greeting farmers from my car, they all went into their homes.
I felt like I had AIDS." In February 2000, when asked about the Year 2000 problem in the United States, Mori quipped that "when there is a blackout, the murderers always come out. It's that type of society." At Obuchi's funeral, Mori failed to clap and bow properly before Obuchi's shrine, an important portion of a traditional Japanese funeral rite. The other world leaders present at the funeral, including U. S. President Bill Clinton, performed the ritual correctly. At a meeting of Shinto followers in Tokyo in May 2000, Mori described Japan as "a nation of deities with the Emperor at its center." This "divine nation statement" stirred controversy in Japan as it invoked the official interpretation of the Emperor as a divine entity during the days of the Empire of Japan. Days after this statement, Mori questioned whether the Japan Communist Party could "ensure Japan's security and defend the kokutai", using a term for Japan's unity with its divine emperor which had not been in common use since World War II.
During the June 2000 election, when asked about recent newspaper reports that showed that half of the voters still had not decided for whom to vote, he replied that they could "stay in bed for the day." In October 2000, during a dialogue with British prime minister Tony Blair, Mori stated that the Japanese government had suggested in 1997 that Japanese nationals believed to be abducted by North Korea be arranged to be "found" elsewhere in order to ensure a smooth normalization of the relation between North Korea and Japan, which upset the foreign ministry and led to calls for Mori's resignation from conservative voices within the LDP. In December 2000, pictures appeared in the weekly magazine Shukan Gendai showing him drinking in an Osaka bar with a high-ranking Yakuza. In February 2001, the US submarine USS Greeneville accidentally hit and sank the Japanese fishing ship Ehime Maru during an emergency surface drill on 9 February 2001, resulting in 9 dead students and teachers. Mori continued a round of golf after being told of the incident, for which he was criticized as being politically tone-deaf.
One unsubstantiated story concerned the 26th G8 summit in 2000, at which upon meeting U. S. President Bill Clinton, Mori was to say "How are you". Instead, he slipped up and said "Who are you. Snopes.com reported that this was a low-quality fabrication/joke and that the same story had been told about Kim Young-sam several months earlier. It was nonetheless reported by some mainstream media outlets such as ABC in Australia. Two senior Mori appointees resigned due to fundraising scandals in August 2000. Mori's disapproval rating neared 60% following these resignations. In November 2000, with Mori's approval ratings below 30%, opposition politicians attempted to win a vote of no confidence against Mori by soliciting support from rebels within the LDP. Hi
Deputy Prime Minister of Japan
The Deputy Prime Minister of Japan is a senior member of the Cabinet of Japan. The office of the Deputy Prime Minister is not a permanent position, existing only at the discretion of the Prime Minister. Deputy Prime Ministers possesses no special powers as such, though they will always have particular responsibilities in government, they do not automatically succeed the Prime Minister, should the latter be incapacitated or resign from the leadership of his or her political party. In practice, the designation of someone to the role of Deputy Prime Minister may provide additional practical status within cabinet, enabling the exercise of de facto power; the current Deputy Prime Minister is Tarō Asō, who took the post on 26 December 2012. Kenkyusha's New Japanese-English Dictionary, Kenkyusha Limited, Tokyo 1991, ISBN 4-7674-2015-6