Hiroshi Mitsuzuka

Hiroshi Mitsuzuka (三塚博, Mitsuzuka Hiroshi, 1 August 1927 – 25 April 2004) was a veteran Japanese politician. He was a member of the Liberal Democratic Party of Japan. He represented his party at the House of Representatives from 1972 to 2003. In addition, he served as transport minister, international trade minister, finance minister and foreign affairs minister.

Hiroshi Mitsuzuka
Minister of Finance
In office
7 November 1996  28 January 1998
Prime MinisterRyutaro Hashimoto
Preceded byWataru Kubo
Succeeded byHikaru Matsunaga
Minister of Foreign Affairs
In office
3 June 1989  10 August 1989
Prime MinisterSosuke Uno
Preceded bySosuke Uno
Succeeded byTaro Nakayama
Minister of International Trade and Industry
In office
28 December 1988  3 June 1989
Prime MinisterNoboru Takeshita
Preceded byHajime Tamura
Succeeded bySeiroku Kajiyama
Minister of Transport
In office
28 December 1985  22 July 1986
Prime MinisterNoboru Takeshita
Preceded byTokuo Yamashita
Succeeded byRyutaro Hashimoto
Personal details
Born1 August 1927
Misato, Miyagi, Japan
Died25 April 2004(2004-04-25) (aged 76)
Tokyo, Japan
Political partyLiberal Democratic Party
Alma materWaseda University

Early life and education

Mitsuzuka was born in the town of Misato, Miyagi prefecture, on 1 August 1927.[1][2] He first received a degree in veterinary medicine.[2] Then he obtained a law degree from Waseda University.[2]


LDP career

Mitsuzuka was a leading member of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP),[3] being a member of the Seirankai.[4] He was also Kokkai secretary.[5] He served ten terms at the House of Representatives. He was first elected to the House in December 1972 from Miyagi Prefecture's No. 3 constituency.[6][7] He held significant posts in the LDP, including policy research council chairman and secretary general.[2]

Mitsuzuka was a member of the Abe faction, headed by Shintaro Abe.[8] The first head of this faction that occupies the right wing of the LDP[2] was Nobusuke Kishi, who was succeeded by Takeo Fukuda.[9] Abe was the third head of the faction. Mitsuzuka was one of the "big four" in the faction consisted of he, Masajuro Shiokawa, Mutsuki Kato and Yoshirō Mori.[8] On 20 June 1991, Mitsuzuka became leader of the Abe faction in the LDP,[10] inheriting it after Abe's death in 1991.[11] On the other hand, he and Mutsuki Kato toughly struggled over the control of the faction, resulting in Matsuki's removal from the faction in 1991.[5] His election as faction leader led to the collapse of the solid coalition between the Takeshita faction, led by Noboru Takeshita, and Abe faction in the party.[12] The Abe faction was later renamed as the Mitsuzuka faction under his leadership.[11] His faction became one of the five influential factions in the LDP at the beginning of the 1990s.[13] In December 1992, the faction was the largest one in the LDP with 73 members.[11] In 1996, his faction was still the largest one in the party with seventy-four members.[14] The control of his faction was assumed by Yoshirō Mori by 1999.[15]

In 1991, Mitsuzuka ran for the LDP president, but lost the election, and Kiichi Miyazawa became the president of the party.[7] In 1994, he ran for the prime ministership.[4] However, due to the allegations of involvement in the construction scandals of 1994 his bid was not successful. Although he was not charged, criticisms about him became public.[4] Mitsuzuka was appointed secretary general of the party by then LDP president Kono Yohei in 1996.[14][16]

Ministerial career

Mitsuzuka's first ministerial post was the minister of transport in the cabinet led by Prime Minister Noboru Takeshita.[17][18] He was in office from 1985 to 1986.[2] Then he was appointed minister of international trade and industry in the same cabinet in a reshuffle on 28 December 1988,[18] replacing Hajime Tamura in the post.[19] Mitsuzuka was in office until 1989.[2]

He was appointed minister of foreign affairs in June 1989 in the cabinet headed by Prime Minister Sousuke Uno.[20] When Mitsuzuka was in office, he harshly criticised the Japan firms, arguing that they created an image of Japan as "trying to make money like a thief at fire."[21] His term lasted until August 1989.[10]

Mitsuzuka was appointed minister of finance in the second cabinet of Ryutaro Hashimoto on 7 November 1996, replacing Wataru Kubo.[22] He resigned from office on 28 January 1998 to take responsibility for corrupt behavior by officials of the ministry, although he was not personally involved.[23][24] Hikaru Matsunaga succeeded him as finance minister on 1 February 1998.[25]

Other positions and retirement

Mitsuzuka served as chairman of the Japan Palau Friendship Diet Representatives' Association.[26] He retired from politics in August 2003 due to health concerns.[7]


Mitsuzuka injured his back in June 2003, leading to deterioration of his health.[7] He died of illness at a Tokyo hospital on 25 April 2004.[6] He was 76.[6]


  1. "Mitsuzuka, Hiroshi". Rulers. Retrieved 9 January 2013.
  2. J. A. A. A. Stockwin, ed. (2003). "Mitsuzuka Hiroshi". Dictionary of the Modern Politics of Japan. New York: Routledge. p. 177. Retrieved 30 August 2013.   via Questia (subscription required)
  3. "Tarnished prize". The Independent. 24 July 1993. Retrieved 1 January 2013.
  4. Babb, James (2012). "The Seirankai and the Fate of its Members: The Rise and Fall of the New Right Politicians in Japan". Japan Forum. 24 (1): 75–96. doi:10.1080/09555803.2011.637637.
  5. Kenji Hayao (1993). The Japanese Prime Minister and Public Policy. University of Pittsburgh Pre. p. 99. ISBN 978-0-8229-5493-4. Retrieved 1 January 2013.
  6. "LDP veteran Mitsuzuka dies". The Japan Times. 27 April 2004. Retrieved 1 January 2013.
  7. "Ex-Finance Minister Mitsuzuka to retire from politics". Sendai. 11 August 2004. Retrieved 1 January 2013.
  8. "Obituary: Mutsuki Kato". The Japan Times. 2 March 2006. Retrieved 1 January 2013.
  9. Kitaoka, Shin’ichi (January 2004). "Japan's Dysfunctional Democracy" (PDF). Asia Program Special Report. 117: 6–8. Retrieved 9 January 2013.
  10. "Selection of LDP faction leader". BNC. Retrieved 1 January 2013.
  11. Steven Hunziker; Ikuro Kamimura. "Getting Rid of Kaifu". Kakuei Tanaka. Retrieved 1 January 2013.
  12. Shinoda, Tomohito (Fall 1993). "Truth Behind LDP's Loss". Washington-Japan Journal. 11 (3). Retrieved 1 January 2013.
  13. Kohno, Masaru (April 1992). "Rational Foundations for the Organization of the Liberal Democratic Party in Japan". World Politics. 40 (3): 369–392. JSTOR 2010543.
  14. Cox, Gary W. (January 1999). "Electoral Reform and the Fate of Factions: The Case of Japan's Liberal Democratic Party". British Journal of Political Science. 29 (1): 33–56. doi:10.1017/s0007123499000022. JSTOR 194295.
  15. Edmund Terence Gómez (2002). Political Business in East Asia. Taylor & Francis Group. p. 336. ISBN 978-0-415-27148-6. Retrieved 1 January 2013.
  16. Wudunn, Sheryl (10 January 1996). "Few Takers For Japanese Finance Post". The New York Times. p. 2.
  17. Schoppa, Leonard J. (Winter 1991). "Zoku Power and LDP Power: A Case Study of the Zoku Role in Education Policy". Journal of Japanese Studies. 17 (1): 79–106. doi:10.2307/132908. JSTOR 132908.
  18. Chira, Susan (28 December 1988). "Japanese leader shuffles cabinet". The New York Times. p. 10.
  19. Schoenberger, Karl (28 December 1988). "Takeshita Shuffles Cabinet but Retains Key Ministers". Los Angeles Times. Tokyo. Retrieved 8 January 2013.
  20. "Japanese foreign minister's first visit to US next month". Lodi News-Sentinel. Tokyo. UPI. 17 June 1989. Retrieved 1 January 2013.
  21. Randall E. Stross (1 February 1993). Stross: Bulls in the China Shop. University of Hawaii Press. p. 2. ISBN 978-0-8248-1509-7. Retrieved 1 January 2013.
  22. "New cabinet inaugurated". Trends in Japan. 8 November 1996. Retrieved 5 January 2013.
  23. Wudunn, Sheryl (29 January 1998). "Japan's Top Finance Bureaucrat Resigns, a Day After His Leader". The New York Times. p. 1.
  24. Blechinger, Verena (1999). "Changes in the handling of corruption scandals in Japan since 1994". Asia-Pacific Review. 6 (2): 42–64. doi:10.1080/13439009908720016.
  25. Mark Tannenbaum; Phred Dvorak (1 February 1998). "Bribery charges hit Japan's rescue plan". The Independent. Retrieved 1 January 2013.
  26. "My Way in "Wonder Islands"" (PDF). Wave of Pacifica. June 2000. Retrieved 1 January 2013.
Political offices
Preceded by
Tokuo Yamashita
Minister of Transport
Succeeded by
Ryutaro Hashimoto
Preceded by
Hajime Tamura
Ministry of International Trade and Industry
Succeeded by
Seiroku Kajiyama
Preceded by
Sosuke Uno
Minister for Foreign Affairs
Succeeded by
Taro Nakayama
Preceded by
Wataru Kubo
Minister of Finance
Succeeded by
Ryutaro Hashimoto
House of Representatives of Japan
Preceded by
Ihei Ochi
Chair, Rules and Administration Committee of the House of Representatives of Japan
Succeeded by
Toshio Yamaguchi
Party political offices
Preceded by
Sadanori Yamanaka
Chair, Tax System Research Council of the Liberal Democratic Party of Japan
Succeeded by
Takeo Nishioka
Preceded by
Keijiro Murata
Chair, Policy Research Council of the Liberal Democratic Party of Japan
Succeeded by
Mutsuki Kato
Preceded by
Yoshirō Mori
Chair, Policy Research Council of the Liberal Democratic Party of Japan
Succeeded by
Ryutaro Hashimoto
Preceded by
Yoshirō Mori
Secretary General of the Liberal Democratic Party of Japan
Succeeded by
Koichi Kato
Preceded by
Shintaro Abe
Head of Seiwa Seisaku Kenkyūkai
Succeeded by
Yoshirō Mori
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