Michio Watanabe

Michio Watanabe (渡辺 美智雄, Watanabe Michio, July 28, 1923 September 15, 1995) was a Japanese political figure. He was born in Ōtawara, Tochigi and graduated from the Tokyo College of Commerce (now Hitotsubashi University) in 1942.[1] He worked as a reporter for the Yomiuri Shimbun, a certified tax accountant, and a member of Tochigi prefectural assembly before serving as a member of House of Representatives of Japan.

Michio Watanabe
渡辺 美智雄
Watanabe in 1993
Deputy Prime Minister
In office
5 November 1991  7 April 1993
Prime MinisterKiichi Miyazawa
Preceded byKiichi Miyazawa
Succeeded byMasaharu Gotoda
Minister for Foreign Affairs
In office
5 November 1991  7 April 1993
Prime MinisterKiichi Miyazawa
Preceded byTaro Nakayama
Succeeded byKabun Mutō
Minister of International Trade and Industry
In office
28 December 1985  22 July 1987
Prime MinisterYasuhiro Nakasone
Preceded byKeijiro Murata
Succeeded byHajime Tamura
Minister of Finance
In office
17 July 1980  17 November 1982
Prime MinisterZenkō Suzuki
Preceded byNoboru Takeshita
Succeeded byNoboru Takeshita
Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries
In office
7 December 1978  9 November 1979
Prime MinisterMasayoshi Ōhira
Preceded byIchiro Nakagawa
Succeeded byKabun Mutō
Minister of Health and Welfare
In office
24 December 1976  28 November 1977
Prime MinisterTakeo Fukuda
Preceded byTakashi Hayakawa
Succeeded byTatsuo Ozawa
Personal details
Born(1923-07-28)July 28, 1923
Ōtawara, Tochigi, Japan
DiedSeptember 15, 1995(1995-09-15) (aged 72)
Tokyo, Japan
Cause of deathHeart failure
Political partyLiberal Democratic Party
Spouse(s)Sumiko Watanabe
ChildrenYoshimi Watanabe
Michiaki Watanabe
Alma materTokyo College of Commerce

He was a member of Seiran-kai, a conservative faction within the LDP, from 1973 to 1976.[2] He later served as Health Minister from 1976 to 1977, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry from 1978 to 1979, and Minister of Finance from 1980 to 1982. He served as Deputy Prime Minister of Japan and Minister for Foreign Affairs from 1991 to 1993, and made unsuccessful bids for the presidency of the Liberal Democratic Party in 1991 and 1993.[1] He gained some international notoriety for stating in 1988 that African Americans had "no qualms about not paying their bills," and for stating in 1995 that the Japanese annexation of Korea was done with Korea's consent.[1]

Although he was ideologically opposed to communist China and favored Taiwan, he made efforts as Deputy Prime Minister to facilitate diplomacy between China and Japan in the wake of the Tiananmen Square incident, developing a relationship with the Chinese ambassador to Japan. He visited China for a meeting with foreign minister Qian Qichen in 1992, and the dialogue during this visit paved the way for Emperor Akihito to visit China later that year.[2]

He was hospitalized for gallstones in 1992, but rumors of a more serious illness spread shortly thereafter, and he resigned for health reasons in 1993. After leading a Japanese delegation to North Korea in March 1995, he died from heart failure in September 1995.[1] His eldest son, Yoshimi Watanabe, inherited his Diet seat and serves as the leader of Your Party. His grandson Michitaro Watanabe (the eldest son of his second son Michiaki Watanabe) is a member of the House of Councillors.[3]


References

  1. Pollack, Andrew (16 September 1995). "Michio Watanabe, 72, of Japan; Powerful Minister Despite Gaffes". New York Times. Retrieved 24 March 2014.
  2. "渡辺喜美氏、日中関係悪化「オヤジは非常に悔しいと…」". Nihon Keizai Shimbun. 23 March 2014. Retrieved 24 March 2014.
  3. "渡辺喜美家系図". Retrieved 24 March 2014.
Political offices
Preceded by
Takashi Harakawa
Minister of Health and Welfare
19761977
Succeeded by
Tatsuo Ozawa
Preceded by
Ichiro Nakagawa
Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries
19781979
Succeeded by
Kabun Mutō
Preceded by
Noboru Takeshita
Minister for Finance of Japan
19801982
Succeeded by
Noboru Takeshita
Preceded by
Keijirō Murata
Minister of International Trade and Industry
19851986
Succeeded by
Hajime Tamura
Preceded by
Taro Nakayama
Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan
19911993
Succeeded by
Kabun Mutō
Preceded by
Kiichi Miyazawa
Deputy Prime Minister of Japan
19911993
Succeeded by
Masaharu Gotōda
House of Representatives of Japan
Preceded by
Yoshimasa Sakamura
Chair, Committee on Cabinet of the House of Representatives
1976
Succeeded by
Keijiro Shoji
Party political offices
Preceded by
Masayoshi Ito
Chair, Policy Research Council of the Liberal Democratic Party
19871989
Succeeded by
Keijiro Murata
Preceded by
Yoshio Sakurauchi
Head of Seisaku Kagaku Kenkyūkai
19901995
Succeeded by
Yasuhiro Nakasone
Interim
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