Itsunori Onodera

Itsunori Onodera (小野寺 五典, Onodera Itsunori, born May 5, 1960) is a Japanese politician of the Liberal Democratic Party and a member of the House of Representatives in the Diet (national legislature). He was the Minister of Defense in 26 December 2012 – 3 September 2014 and 3 August 2017 – 2 October 2018.

Itsunori Onodera
小野寺 五典
Minister of Defense
In office
3 August 2017  2 October 2018
Prime MinisterShinzō Abe
Preceded byFumio Kishida (Acting)
Succeeded byTakeshi Iwaya
In office
26 December 2012  3 September 2014
Prime MinisterShinzō Abe
Preceded bySatoshi Morimoto
Succeeded byAkinori Eto
Member of the House of Representatives
Assumed office
November 10, 2003
ConstituencyMiyagi Prefecture District 6
In office
January 1, 1997  January 3, 2000
ConstituencyMiyagi Prefecture District 6
Personal details
Born (1960-05-05) 5 May 1960
Kesennuma, Miyagi
Political partyLiberal Democratic Party
Alma materTokyo University of Marine Science and Technology
Matsushita Institute of Government and Management
University of Tokyo
WebsiteOfficial website

Early life and education

A native of Kesennuma, Miyagi, Onodera was born on May 5, 1960.[1] He received a bachelor's degree from Tokyo University of Fisheries in 1983. He entered Matsushita Institute of Government and Management in 1990.[1] Then he studied politics at the University of Tokyo. He graduated from both and obtained his master's degree in political science in 1993.[1]


Onodera joined the government of Miyagi Prefecture in April 1983.[2] He worked at Tohoku Fukushi University as special lecturer, assistant professor and guest professor from April 1994 to January 1998.[2] He was elected to the House of Representatives for the first time in December 1997 from Miyagi Prefecture No. 6,[2] but resigned in 2000 in the wake of an electoral donation scandal.[3] In October 2002, he became an associate professor at Tohoku Fukushi University.[2] However, he ran for the house in 2003 and was re-elected. He served as parliamentary secretary for foreign affairs for two times from 2004 to 2005. He served at and chaired different committees regarding foreign affairs, and was the head of the LDP's foreign affairs division.[4] He was appointed senior vice-minister for foreign affairs in August 2007.[2]

Shinzō Abe named Itsunori Onodera defense minister on December 26, 2012.[5] Like Abe, the majority of his government, and many predecessors as defense ministers, Onodera is affiliated to the revisionist lobby group Nippon Kaigi.[6] Onodera supports Japan having the ability to launch a first-strike attack against enemy bases.[7]

Onodera has advocated for the installation of the Aegis Ashore missile defense system in Japan, travelling to proposed installation sites in Akita Prefecture and Yamaguchi Prefecture to win local consent.[8]

Personal life

Onodera is married and has two children.[2]


  1. "Abe Cabinet". The Japan Times. December 26, 2012. Retrieved January 5, 2013.
  2. "Profile of Senior Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs". MOFA. Retrieved January 5, 2013.
  3. "EDITORIAL: Minister crossed ethical, if not legal, line with gifts of incense". Asahi Shimbun. February 2, 2018. Retrieved February 3, 2018.
  4. "New defense chief Onodera well-versed in security policy". House of Japan. December 27, 2012. Retrieved January 5, 2013.
  5. Eric Talmadge (December 26, 2012). "New Japan PM: Saving economic crisis top mission". Associated Press.
  6. Sim, Walter (August 7, 2015). "Japan's defence chief a returning steady hand". The Straits Times. Like Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and predecessor Tomomi Inada, the six-term lawmaker - who is married with two sons - is openly affiliated with the influential right-wing Nippon Kaigi lobby group.
  7. "Onodera vows to step up pressure on N. Korea". Yomiuri Shimbun. 6 August 2017.
  8. The Associated Press (June 23, 2018). "Japan's defence chief seeks local support to deploy a land-based missile shield". The South China Morning Post.
Political offices
Preceded by
Satoshi Morimoto
Minister of Defence
Succeeded by
Akinori Eto
Preceded by
Fumio Kishida
Minister of Defence
Succeeded by
Takeshi Iwaya

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