Yasuhiro Nakasone

Yasuhiro Nakasone
Yasuhiro Nakasone cropped 1 Yasuhiro Nakasone 19821127.jpg
Nakasone in 1982
Prime Minister of Japan
In office
27 November 1982 – 6 November 1987
Preceded byZenkō Suzuki
Succeeded byNoboru Takeshita
Member of the House of Representatives
In office
26 April 1947 – 10 October 2004
ConstituencyGunma 3rd district (1947–1996)
Northern Kanto PR (1996–2004)
Personal details
Born(1918-05-27)27 May 1918
Takasaki, Gunma, Japan
Died29 November 2019(2019-11-29) (aged 101)
Tokyo, Japan
Political partyLiberal Democratic Party
Tsutako Nakasone
(m. 1945; died 2012)
ChildrenHirofumi Nakasone
Alma materTokyo Imperial University
Military service
Allegiance Empire of Japan
Branch/service Imperial Japanese Navy
Years of service1941–1945
RankLieutenant-commander (as Naval Paymaster)
Battles/warsWorld War II

Yasuhiro Nakasone (中曽根 康弘, Nakasone Yasuhiro, 27 May 1918 – 29 November 2019) was a Japanese politician who served as Prime Minister of Japan and President of the Liberal Democratic Party from 1982 to 1987. He was a member of the House of Representatives for more than 50 years. He was best known for pushing through the privatization of state-owned companies, and for helping to revitalize Japanese nationalism during and after his term as prime minister. He was the oldest living former state leader at the time of his death in 2019, aged 101.[1]

Early life

One-year-old Nakasone (1919)

Nakasone was born in Takasaki in Gunma, a prefecture northwest of Tokyo, on 27 May 1918.[2][3] He was the second son of Nakasone Matsugoro II, a lumber dealer, and Nakamura Yuku. He had five siblings: an elder brother named Kichitaro, an elder sister named Shoko, a younger brother named Ryosuke and another younger brother and younger sister who both died in childhood.[4] The Nakasone family had been of the samurai class during the Edo period, and claimed direct descent from the Minamoto clan through the famous Minamoto no Yoshimitsu and through his son Minamoto no Yoshikiyo (d. 1149). According to family records, Tsunayoshi (k. 1417), a vassal of the Takeda clan and a tenth-generation descendant of Yoshikiyo, took the name of Nakasone Juro and was killed at the Battle of Sagamigawa.[5] In about 1590, the samurai Nakasone Sōemon Mitsunaga settled in the town of Satomimura [ja] in Kōzuke Province. His descendants became silk merchants and pawnbrokers. Nakasone's father, originally born Nakasone Kanichi, settled in Takasaki in 1912 and established a timber business and lumberyard which had success as a result of the post-First World War building boom.[5]

Nakasone described his early childhood and youth as a happy one, and himself as a "quiet, easy-going child" nicknamed "Yat-chan". He attended a local primary school in Takasaki and was a poor student until the fourth grade, after which he excelled and was at the top of his class. He entered Shizuoka High School in 1935, where he excelled in history and literature, and learned to speak fluent French.[6] In the autumn of 1938, Nakasone entered Tokyo Imperial University. During World War II, he was a commissioned officer and paymaster in the Imperial Japanese Navy.[3] He later wrote of his return to Tokyo in August 1945 after Japan's surrender: "I stood vacantly amid the ruins of Tokyo, after discarding my officer's short sword and removing the epaulettes of my uniform. As I looked around me, I swore to resurrect my homeland from the ashes of defeat".[7]

Nakasone in the Imperial Japanese Navy

In 1947, he gave up a promising career in an elite government ministry to run for Parliament with the belief that in its postwar remorse, Japan was in danger of discarding its traditional values.[3] He campaigned on a nationalist platform, arguing for an enlarged Self-Defence Force, to amend Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution (which outlawed war as a means to settling international disputes), and to revive Japanese patriotism, especially in reverence for the Emperor.[8] He entered the Diet of Japan as a member of the House of Representatives for the Democratic Party.[9] "As a freshman lawmaker in 1951, he delivered a 28-page letter to General MacArthur criticising the occupation, a brazen move. The General angrily threw the letter in [the] bin, Yasuhiro was later told. This stand established [Yasuhiro Nakasone's] credentials as a right-wing politician."[3] He gained brief notoriety in 1952 for blaming Emperor Hirohito for Japan's defeat in the war.[10] In 1955, at Nakasone's urging, the government granted the equivalent of $14,000,000 to the Agency for Industrial Science and Technology to begin nuclear power research.[11] Nakasone rose through the LDP's ranks, becoming Minister of Science in 1959 under the government of Nobusuke Kishi, then Minister of Transport in 1967, Director General of the Japan Defense Agency from 1970 to 1971, Minister of International Trade and Industry in 1972 and Minister of Administration in 1981.

As the head of the Self-Defence Force, Nakasone argued for an increase in defence spending from less than 1% GDP to 3% of GDP. He was also in favour of Japan having tactical nuclear weapons.[12] He was labelled "the weathervane" in 1972 because he switched his support from Takeo Fukuda to Kakuei Tanaka in the leadership election, ensuring Tanaka's victory. In turn, Tanaka would give his powerful support to Nakasone against Fukuda a decade later in the fight for the premiership.[12]

Other Languages
Bân-lâm-gú: Nakasone Yasuhiro
Bahasa Indonesia: Yasuhiro Nakasone
Bahasa Melayu: Yasuhiro Nakasone
မြန်မာဘာသာ: ယဆုဟိရို နခဆိုနဲ
Nederlands: Yasuhiro Nakasone
日本語: 中曽根康弘
português: Yasuhiro Nakasone
Simple English: Yasuhiro Nakasone
slovenčina: Jasuhiro Nakasone
српски / srpski: Јасухиро Накасоне
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Yasuhiro Nakasone
українська: Накасоне Ясухіро
Tiếng Việt: Nakasone Yasuhiro