Wataru Kubo

Wataru Kubo (久保 亘, Kubo Wataru, 15 January 1929 24 June 2003) was a Japanese politician from the Social Democratic Party (SPD) and then from Democratic Party of Japan. He served as deputy prime minister and finance minister of Japan from 5 January 1996 to 7 November 1996.

Wataru Kubo
久保 亘
Minister of Finance
In office
5 January 1996  7 November 1996
Prime MinisterRyutaro Hashimoto
Preceded byMasayoshi Takemura
Succeeded byHiroshi Mitsuzuka
Deputy Prime Minister of Japan
In office
5 January 1996  7 November 1996
Prime MinisterRyutaro Hashimoto
Preceded byRyutaro Hashimoto
Succeeded byNaoto Kan (2009)
Personal details
Born15 January 1929
Kagoshima, Empire of Japan
Died24 June 2003(2003-06-24) (aged 74)
Kagoshima, Japan
Political partySocial Democratic Party (1963–1997)
Democratic Party of Japan (1997–2001)
Alma materHiroshima University of Literature and Science

Early life and education

Kubo was born in Kagoshima Prefecture on 15 January 1929.[1] He received a bachelor's degree from Hiroshima University of Literature and Science, now part of Hiroshima University, in 1952.[1]


Kubo started his career as a high-school teacher.[2] Then he involved in politics, and in 1963, he was elected to the Kagoshima Prefectural Assembly where he served for three terms.[1] He was first elected to the upper house in July 1974 from Kagoshima.[3][4] Until 1993 he served as chairman and a member of different committees at the house, including the budget and finance committee in the upper house.[1][5] In September 1993, he was named as secretary general of the Social Democratic Party during the term of the party chief Tomiichi Murayama.[4][6] He was also chief finance policy strategist[7] and deputy chairman of the party.[8][9]

He served as vice prime minister and finance minister from 5 January to 7 November 1996 in the first cabinet of Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto that was a coalition of the Liberal Democratic Party, the SDP and New Party Sakigake.[4][10] Kubo's term ended when Hashimoto inaugurated his second cabinet and the coalition parties SPD and New Party Sakigake remained outside the government.[11] Kubo was succeeded by Hiroshi Mitsuzuka as finance minister.[11]

Kubo left the SPD on 6 January 1997 due to the disagreements with the SPD chief Takako Doi.[12][13] After his resignation, Kubo joined the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ).[9] Then he became a member of the upper house with the DPJ.[3] He retired from politics as a member of the DPJ in June 2001 after serving four terms at the upper house, being a representative of Kagoshima Prefecture.[4][6]

Personal life

Kubo had a high rank in kendo.[5] He received the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun, Japan's top award for contributions to the state and society, in November 2001.[14]


Kubo died at a hospital in Kagoshima on 24 June 2003.[6] He was 74.[14]


  1. "Lyon Summit Information". Japan Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Retrieved 5 January 2013.
  2. Richard Lloyd Parry (12 January 1996). "Socialist Teacher to Run Japan's Finances". The Independent. Tokyo. Retrieved 24 January 2014.  via Questia (subscription required)
  3. "Kubo says DPJ still no alternative for current coalition". Kyodo News. 26 June 2001. Retrieved 6 January 2013.
  4. "Ex-Japan Socialist Party's Kubo Dies". Asia Africa Intelligence Wire. Tokyo. Jiji Press. 26 June 2003. Retrieved 9 September 2013.
  5. Wudunn, Sheryl (12 January 1996). "Japan Names A Socialist as Finance Chief". The New York Times. p. 2.
  6. "Obituary: Wataru Kubo". The Japan Times. 27 June 2003. Retrieved 5 January 2013.
  7. "International Business". Los Angeles Times. 11 January 1996. Retrieved 5 January 2013.
  8. Sterngold, James (11 July 1993). "Japan's socialists moving to center". The New York Times. p. 9.
  9. "Veteran politician Kubo to quit politics". Kyodo News. Kagoshima. 28 December 2001. Retrieved 6 January 2013.
  10. "January 1996". Rulers. Retrieved 5 January 2013.
  11. "New cabinet inaugurated". Trends in Japan. 8 November 1996. Retrieved 5 January 2013.
  12. "Kubo leads more key defectors from SDP". The Japan Times. 6 January 1997. Retrieved 6 January 2013.
  13. "Asia Week". CNN. 17 January 1997. Retrieved 24 January 2014.
  14. "Kubo, former vice premier, dies at 74". Kyodo News. Tokyo. 26 June 2003. Retrieved 5 January 2013.
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