Azuma Koshiishi

Azuma Koshiishi (輿石 東, Koshiishi Azuma, born May 14, 1936) is a Japanese politician of the Democratic Party, a member of the House of Councillors in the Diet, and general secretary of the ruling Democratic Party. A native of Nirasaki, Yamanashi, and graduate of Tsuru University, he was elected to the House of Representatives of Japan in 1990, where he served for two terms until 1996 when he failed to be re-elected. He was elected to the House of Councillors for the first time in 1998.

Azuma Koshiishi
輿石 東
Koshiishi(left) with Kaiheiros
Member of the House of Councillors
In office
12 July 1998  21 June 2016
Preceded byTetsuro Shimura
Succeeded byYuka Miyazawa
ConstituencyYamanashi at-large district
Member of the House of Representatives
In office
18 February 1990  27 September 1996
Serving with Eiichi Nakao (1990–1996)
Shin Kanemaru, Toshimasa Ueda, Kunio Tanabe (1990–1993)
Mitsuo Horiuchi, Sakihito Ozawa, Shōmei Yokouchi (1993–1996)
Preceded byMitsuo Horiuchi
Succeeded bySeat abolished
ConstituencyYamanashi at-large district
Personal details
Born (1936-05-14) 14 May 1936
Tatsuoka, Nirasaki, Japan
Political partyDemocratic Party
Alma materTsuru Junior College
WebsiteOfficial website

Career before politics

Koshiishi was an elementary school teacher for 26 years.[1] He became involved in union activities through the Japan Teachers Union (Nikkyoso), becoming the chair of the executive committee of the Yamanashi branch in 1984, and Chair of the Yamanashi Trade Union Confederation in 1986.[2] Subsequently, he became the director of the Yamanashi Prefecture Educational Research Institute in 1997.[3]

Political career

Koshiishi was elected to the House of Representatives for the first time in 1990, representing the Social Democratic Party. He was re-elected in 1993, serving two terms as a lower-house lawmaker and participated in the formation of the predecessor to the Democratic Party of Japan, but was not re-elected in 1996.[4]

He was elected to the House Councillors for the first time in 1998 and re-elected in 2004 and 2010.[3] In January 2016 he announced that he would not seek a fourth term and was replaced by Democratic Party candidate Yuka Miyazawa at the July 2016 election.[5]

As DPJ General Secretary

Koshiishi became general secretary of the DPJ on August 31, 2011, the first upper house member of the party to occupy the position,[6] and at 75 years of age, the oldest person ever to become general secretary of the party.[4] His appointment happened as Yoshihiko Noda replaced Naoto Kan as president of the ruling DPJ and therefore prime minister of Japan. Ichiro Ozawa, former DPJ president and powerbroker, had wanted Banri Kaieda in the role of DPJ president instead of Noda. Koshiishi had close ties to Ozawa[1] and Noda appointing him was an attempt at achieving party unity.[7] The attempt was ultimately unsuccessful, as despite Koshiishi attempting to smooth over differences,[8] following Noda's administration passing an increase to the consumption tax from 5% to 10% through the lower house of the diet Ozawa and dozens of lawmakers from his faction left the party in July 2012 to form People's Life First.[9]

Koshiishi was re-appointed general secretary by Noda in September 2012. After Noda won re-election as DPJ president on September 21 he asked Koshiishi to remain in office. Koshiishi refrained from accepting the post again, but accepted it two days later, on September 23.[10] Just as his initial appointment had been, his reappointment was another attempt to unify the party.[11]

See also


  • 政治家情報 〜輿石 東〜. JANJAN (in Japanese). Archived from the original on 8 December 2007. Retrieved 2007-11-10.
  1. The Japan Times Koshiishi still siding with Ozawa September 17 2011 Retrieved on August 12, 2012
  2. Democratic Party of Japan website Azuma KOSHIISHI Profile Retrieved on August 12, 2012
  3. House of Councilors website List of the members - Mr. KOSHIISHI Azuma November 10 2010 Archived April 28, 2012, at the Wayback Machine Retrieved on August 13, 2012
  4. The Asahi Shimbun Profile of Azuma Koshiishi: Symbol of party unity will have to overcome past grudges August 31 2011 Archived December 20, 2013, at the Wayback Machine Retrieved on August 13, 2012
  5. "輿石氏後継の民進・宮沢由佳氏、初当選…山梨" [Koshiishi's Democratic Party successor newcomer Yuka Miyazawa wins Yamanashi]. Yomiuri Shimbun (in Japanese). 10 July 2016. Retrieved 12 July 2016.
  6. The Japan Times DPJ's new No. 2 close ally of Ozawa September 1 2011 Retrieved on August 13, 2012
  7. The Japan Times Noda's likening himself to loach in speech helped endear him to DPJ September 2 2011 Retrieved on August 12, 2012
  8. The Japan Times Koshiishi scrambles to avoid DPJ split June 29 2012 Retrieved on August 12, 2012
  9. The Japan Times Ozawa creates new party to counter Noda July 12 2012 Retrieved on August 12, 2012
  10. The Daily Yomiuri Koshiishi keeps No. 2 post September 24, 2012 Retrieved on September 26, 2012
  11. Asahi Shimbun Ruling party reshuffle aims to heal divisions September 25, 2012
House of Councillors
Preceded by
Toshio Fujii
Chair, Committee on Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism of the House of Councillors of Japan
Succeeded by
Masami Tanabu
Preceded by
Masaaki Yamazaki
Vice-President of the House of Councillors of Japan
Succeeded by
Akira Gunji
Party political offices
Preceded by
Takashi Yamamoto
Secretary-General for the Democratic Party in the House of Councillors
Succeeded by
Akira Imaizumi
Preceded by
Satsuki Eda
Chair, General Assembly of Party Members of the House of Councillors
Succeeded by
Akira Gunji
Preceded by
Hirohisa Fujii
Acting President of the Democratic Party
Served alongside: Naoto Kan, Ichirō Ozawa
Succeeded by
Yoshito Sengoku
Preceded by
Yoshihiko Noda, Kenji Hirata
Acting Secretary-General of the Democratic Party
Succeeded by
Goshi Hosono
Preceded by
Katsuya Okada
Secretary-General of the Democratic Party
Succeeded by
Goshi Hosono
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