Seiichi Ota

Seiichi Ota (太田 誠一, Ōta Seiichi, born October 31, 1945 in Fukuoka, Fukuoka) is a Japanese politician. As of 2008 he is a member of the House of Representatives (lower house) currently serving in his eighth term representing Fukuoka's Third District. He is a member of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) in the Koga faction. Kiyoko Fukuda, who married Prime Minister of Japan Yasuo Fukuda, is his cousin.

Before entering politics, Ota was an economics professor. He then served as chief of the Management and Coordination Agency.[1]

Ota entered politics in 1980 with the help of his father-in-law, the governor of Fukuoka. He has since been involved mainly in economic policy. Under Noboru Takeshita in the late 1980s, he advocated the introduction of the consumption tax. Ota also participated in changes in the Commercial Law in the late 1990s and realignment of government ministries and agencies in 2001. Ota left the LDP in 1994 to form a small party, but returned to the LDP the following year.[2]

Igniting more controversy after the Super Free rape scandal was revealed, on 26 June 2003 Ota said "At least gang rapists are still vigorous. Isn't that at least a little closer to normal?"[3] This shocked Japan and Mizuho Fukushima criticized him.[4]

During the debate of terrorism in January 2008, he claimed that Fukushima was an "ultra-leftist".[5]

On August 1, 2008, Yasuo Fukuda named Ota as the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries in the cabinet list.[6] However, he resigned the post on September 19, 2008 following a scandal over tainted rice (汚染米 or 事故米穀,, Osenmai or Jikobeikoku).[7] He stated: "I met with Prime Minister Fukuda and told him my decision to resign, considering the seriousness of the tainted rice problem for the society." Yasuo Fukuda accepted the resignation. Ota was informed of the problem in January 2007 but said he saw no need to make "too much of a fuss over it". The rice, tainted with pesticide methamidophos and mould, was for industrial uses only, but was resold, used and served to make lunches for thousands of schoolchildren and nursing home patients.[8][9]


  1. Japan Times, "Fukuda's new lineup", August 3, 2008.
  2. Japan Times, "Fukuda's new lineup", August 3, 2008.
  3. "Rape Debate In Japan". CBS News. 2003-09-02. Retrieved 2008-06-07.
  4. "Lawmaker sees gang rapists as `close to normal'". Taipei Times. 2003-06-28. Retrieved 2008-06-07.
  5. "LDP legislator Ota brands SDP leader Fukushima as ultra-leftist". HDR Japan. 2008-01-14. Archived from the original on 2016-01-21. Retrieved 2008-06-07.
  6. "Japanese prime minister reshuffles Cabinet". Associated Press (Las Vegas Sun). 2008-08-01. Retrieved 2008-09-19.
  7. "Japanese agriculture minister to quit over tainted rice scandal". Xinhua News Agency. 2008-09-19. Archived from the original on 2012-10-21. Retrieved 2008-09-19.
  8., Japan minister quits in rice row
  9., Japan agriculture minister quits over tainted rice Archived September 29, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
Political offices
Preceded by
Masatoshi Wakabayashi
Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of Japan
August 2, 2008 – September 19, 2008
Succeeded by
Shigeru Ishiba

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