Ryutaro Hashimoto
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Ryutaro Hashimoto
Ry?tar? Hashimoto
Ryutaro Hashimoto cropped 1 Ryutaro Hashimoto 19960111.jpg
Ry?tar? Hashimoto
Prime Minister of Japan

11 January 1996 - 30 July 1998
MonarchAkihito
DeputyWataru Kubo
Tomiichi Murayama
Keiz? Obuchi
Deputy Prime Minister of Japan

2 October 1995 - 11 January 1996
Tomiichi Murayama
Y?hei K?no
Wataru Kubo
Minister of Finance

28 January 1998 - 30 January 1998
Ryutaro Hashimoto
Hiroshi Mitsuzuka
Hikaru Matsunaga

10 August 1989 - 14 October 1991
Toshiki Kaifu
Tatsuo Murayama
Toshiki Kaifu
Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry

30 June 1994 - 11 January 1996
Tomiichi Murayama
Eijiro Hata
Shunpei Tsukahara
Minister of Transport

22 July 1986 - 6 November 1987
Yasuhiro Nakasone
Hiroshi Mitsuzuka
Shintaro Ishihara
Minister of Health

7 December 1978 - 9 November 1979
Masayoshi ?hira
Tatsuo Ozawa
Kyoichi Noro
Member of the House of Representatives

21 November 1963 - 11 September 2005
Personal details
Born(1937-07-29)29 July 1937
S?ja, Okayama, Empire of Japan
Died1 July 2006(2006-07-01) (aged 68)
Tokyo, Japan
Political partyLiberal Democratic Party
ChildrenGaku Hashimoto
Alma materKeio University

Ryutaro Hashimoto ( , Hashimoto Ry?tar?, 29 July 1937 - 1 July 2006) was a Japanese politician who served as the Prime Minister of Japan from 1996 to 1998. He was the leader of one of the largest factions within the ruling LDP through most of the 1990s and remained a powerful back-room player in Japanese politics until scandal forced him to resign his leadership position in 2004. Disgraced, he chose not to stand in the general election of 2005, and effectively retired from politics. He died on 1 July 2006 at a Tokyo hospital.

Early political life

with Tomiichi Murayama and the Ministers of Murayama Government (at the Prime Minister's Official Residence on 30 June 1994)

Hashimoto was born on 29 July 1937,[1] in S?ja in Okayama Prefecture. His father, Ry?go Hashimoto, was a cabinet minister under Prime Minister Nobusuke Kishi. Following his father's lead, Ryutaro received his degree in political science from Keio University in 1960, and was elected to the House of Representatives of Japan in 1963.

He moved through the ranks of the Liberal Democratic Party over the next twenty years, landing a spot as Minister of Health and Welfare under premier Masayoshi ?hira in 1978, and in 1980 became the LDP's director of finance and public administration. He again became a cabinet minister in 1986 under Yasuhiro Nakasone, and in 1989 became secretary general of the LDP, the highest rank short of party president (if the LDP is in government, usually also the prime minister.)

Hashimoto became a key figure in the strong LDP faction founded by Kakuei Tanaka in the 1970s, which later fell into the hands of Noboru Takeshita, who then was tainted by the Recruit scandal of 1988. In 1991, the press had discovered that one of Hashimoto's secretaries had been involved in an illegal financial dealing. Hashimoto retired as Minister of Finance from the Second Kaifu Cabinet. Following the collapse of the bubble economy, the LDP momentarily lost power in 1993/94 during the Hosokawa and Hata anti-LDP coalition cabinets negotiated by LDP defector Ichir? Ozawa. Hashimoto was brought back to the cabinet when the LDP under Y?hei K?no returned to power in 1994 by entering a ruling coalition with traditional archrival Japanese Socialist Party (JSP), giving the prime ministership to the junior partner, and the minor New Party Harbinger (NPH). Hashimoto became Minister of International Trade and Industry in the Murayama Cabinet of Tomiichi Murayama.[2] As the chief of MITI, Hashimoto made himself known at meetings of APEC and at summit conferences.

In September 1995, Y?hei K?no did not stand for another term. Hashimoto won the election to LDP president against Jun'ichir? Koizumi 304 votes to 87,[3] and succeeded K?no as leader of the party and as deputy prime minister in the Murayama cabinet.[4]

Prime minister

with Bill Clinton (at Akasaka Palace on 17 April 1996)

When Murayama stepped down in 1996, the 135th National Diet elected Hashimoto to become Japan's 82nd prime minister - he was elected against NFP leader Ichir? Ozawa with 288 votes to 167 in the lower house and 158 to 69 in the upper house -[5] and lead the continued LDP-JSP-NPH coalition government (First Hashimoto Cabinet).[6]

Hashimoto reached an agreement with the United States for the repatriation of MCAS Futenma, a controversial U.S. military base in an urban area of Okinawa, in April 1996. The deal was opposed by Japan's foreign ministry and defense agency but was backed by Hashimoto's American counterpart, President Bill Clinton. The repatriation of the base has yet to be completed as of 2015, as Okinawans have opposed efforts to relocate the base to a new site.[7] Hashimoto's domestic popularity increased during the Japanese-US trade dispute when he publicly confronted Mickey Kantor, US Trade Representative for the Clinton administration.[8][9]

Hashimoto's popularity was largely based on his attitude. When asked about why Japanese car dealerships did not sell American cars, he answered, "Why doesn't IBM sell Fujitsu computers?"[] When Japan's economy did not seem to be recovering from its 1991 collapse, Hashimoto ordered a commission of experts from the private sector to look into improving the Japanese market for foreign competition, and eventually opening it completely.

On September 27, 1996, the Hashimoto cabinet dissolved the lower house of the National Diet. In the ensuing general lower house election in October, the LDP made gains while its coalition partners SDP - the JSP had been renamed briefly after the formation of the Hashimoto cabinet - and NPH lost seats. Both parties ended the coalition with the LDP, but they remained Diet allies in a cooperation outside the cabinet (kakugai ky?ryoku) until 1998.[8] Thus, the LDP and the Second Hashimoto Cabinet[10] safely controlled both houses of the Diet, although it was initially technically in the minority by a few seats in the lower house, and well short of a majority in the upper house. It was the first single-party LDP government since 1993. Having achieved this, Hashimoto was confirmed without challenger as party president in September 1997.[3]

Hashimoto's government raised the Japanese consumption tax in 1997. Although the government implemented a reduction in the personal income tax prior to raising the consumption tax, the hike still had a negative effect on consumer demand in Japan.[11]

During the Upper House regular election 1998, the LDP failed to restore its majority (lost in 1989 and not to be regained until 2016) and instead lost more seats. Hashimoto resigned to take responsibility for this failure, and was succeeded as LDP president and Prime Minister by Foreign Minister Keiz? Obuchi.

Later political life

with Paul Wolfowitz (at the Pentagon on 16 October 2002)

Mr. Hashimoto stayed in a LDP adviser party, and in the 2nd Mori Cabinet the Minister of Okinawa Development Agency and Minister in charge of administrative reform were appointed. He led the faction for several years. In 2001 he was one of the leading candidates to take office as prime minister but lost in the election of the more popular Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi.

Hashimoto's faction began to collapse late in 2003 while debating over whether to re-elect Koizumi. In 2004, Hashimoto stepped down as faction leader when he was found to have accepted a ¥100 million cheque from the Japan Dental Association, and announced that he would not run for re-election in his lower house district.

On World Water Day (22 March) in 2004, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan established a global Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation, and appointed Ryutaro Hashimoto as its Chairman. Just prior to his death, Hashimoto submitted a letter addressed to "The People of the World" for publication in the book Water Voices from Around The World (October 2007), which is a book affiliated with the United Nations' decade of water (2005-15).[] In his letter, he addressed water-related disasters around the world, with an urgent appeal to the United Nations to halve the number of deaths caused by water disasters by 2015. Hashimoto closes this letter by writing: "An old proverb says 'Dripping water wears away the stone.' I humbly suggest, that through steadfast efforts, we can overcome any obstacle our civilization may encounter in the coming decade."[]

Family

He was married to Kumiko Hashimoto ( Hashimoto Kumiko).[12]

Former governor of K?chi Prefecture, Daijiro Hashimoto, is his half-brother.

House of Representatives member and member of the Liberal Democratic Party Gaku Hashimoto is his second son.

Honours

Personal life

Hashimoto achieved the level of sixth degree black belt (6th dan) in Kendo, the art of Japanese fencing. In 1998, Hashimoto donated two tournament trophies to the Harvard Invitational Shoryuhai Intercollegiate Kendo Tournament as tokens of his encouragement.[]

An exchange program between the Scout Association of Japan and the Boy Scouts of America was started in 1998, at the suggestion of then-Prime Minister Hashimoto in a 1996 meeting with U.S. President Bill Clinton.[15] In 1998, he was presented with the Silver World Award by Jere Ratcliffe, Chief Scout Executive of the Boy Scouts of America, "for outstanding contributions to young people on an international level".[16]

In 1999, Hashimoto appeared as a judge on the Japanese television show Iron Chef for the show's final battle, between Hiroyuki Sakai and Alain Passard.

References

  1. ^ Reed, Christopher (2 July 2006). "Obituary: Ryutaro Hashimoto". The Guardian. Retrieved 2017.
  2. ^ Kantei/Cabinet of Japan: Historical cabinets, Murayama Cabinet (81st) (in Japanese)
  3. ^ a b LDP: ? (historical party presidents; includes election results)
  4. ^ Kantei/Cabinet of Japan: Historical cabinets, Reshuffled Murayama Cabinet (81st, reshuffled) (in Japanese)
  5. ^ National Diet Library, 135th National Diet minutes (links to pdfs of the printed central government's official gazette (kanp?); use the Diet minutes search system for other formats): House of Representatives full session January 11, 1996 and House of Councillors full session January 11, 1996 contain the full result and list all individual roll-call votes for designating a prime minister (including lower-ranking candidates and invalid votes omitted here).
  6. ^ Kantei/Cabinet of Japan: Historical cabinets, First Hashimoto Cabinet (82nd) (in Japanese)
  7. ^ "?17". Nihon Keizai Shimbun. 14 June 2015. Retrieved 2015.
  8. ^ a b Gerald L. Curtis: The Logic of Japanese Politics. Leaders, Institutions and the Limits of Change. Columbia University Press 1999, p.172.
  9. ^ The Economist, July 11, 2006: Ryutaro Hashimoto, a reformer of Japan, died on July 1st, aged 68
  10. ^ Kantei/Cabinet of Japan: Historical cabinets, Second Hashimoto Cabinet (83rd), later Reshuffled (in Japanese)
  11. ^ Ikegami, Akira (27 January 2014). "?(14) ". . Retrieved 2014. 97?
  12. ^ Watanabe, Satoru (October 1999). "JAPAN AND EUROPE: SELF-IMAGES AND MUTUAL PERCEPTIONS". Look Japan. Retrieved .
  13. ^ a b * From the corresponding article in the Japanese Wikipedia
  14. ^ reinanzaka-sc.o.oo7.jp/kiroku/documents/20140523-3-kiji-list.pdf
  15. ^ "Boy Scout leader urges knife safety". Japan Times. 9 March 1998. Retrieved 2010.
  16. ^ "Boy Scout leader urges knife safety". Japan Times. 9 March 1998. Retrieved 2010.

External links

Party political offices
Preceded by
Shintaro Abe
Secretary General of the Liberal Democratic Party
1989
Succeeded by
Ichiro Ozawa
Preceded by
Hiroshi Mitsuzuka
Chair, Policy Research Council of the Liberal Democratic Party
1993–1994
Succeeded by
Koichi Kato
Preceded by
Y?hei K?no
President of the Liberal Democratic Party
1995–1998
Succeeded by
Keiz? Obuchi
Preceded by
Tamisuke Watanuki
Head of Heisei Kenky?kai
2000–2004
Vacant
Title next held by
Y?ji Tsushima
House of Representatives of Japan
Preceded by
Yoshio Kumagai
Chair, Social and Labor Affairs Committee of the House of Representatives
1976–1978
Succeeded by
Haruo Kino
Political offices
Preceded by
Tatsuo Ozawa
Minister of Health and Welfare
1978–1979
Succeeded by
Kyoichi Noro
Preceded by
Hiroshi Mitsuzuka
Minister of Transport
1986–1987
Succeeded by
Shintaro Ishihara
Preceded by
Tatsuo Murayama
Minister of Finance
1989–1991
Succeeded by
Toshiki Kaifu
Preceded by
Eijiro Hata
Minister of International Trade and Industry
1994–1996
Succeeded by
Shunpei Tsukahara
Preceded by
Y?hei K?no
Deputy Prime Minister of Japan
1995–1996
Succeeded by
Wataru Kubo
Preceded by
Tomiichi Murayama
Prime Minister of Japan
1996–1998
Succeeded by
Keiz? Obuchi
Preceded by
Yasuo Fukuda
Director General of the Okinawa Development Agency
2000–2001
Merged with Cabinet Office
New office Minister of State for Okinawa and Northern Territories Affairs
2001
Succeeded by
K?ji Omi
New office Minister of State for Regulatory Reform
2001
Succeeded by
Nobuteru Ishihara
Honorary titles
Preceded by
Toshiki Kaifu
Youngest member of the House of Representatives
1963–1967
Succeeded by
Toshio Yamaguchi

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