Yoshitaka Sakurada

Yoshitaka Sakurada (桜田 義孝, Sakurada Yoshitaka, born December 20, 1949) is a Japanese politician of the Liberal Democratic Party, and a member of the House of Representatives in the Diet (national legislature).[2][3] He formerly served as Minister of State for the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games in the Fourth Abe Cabinet.

Yoshitaka Sakurada
桜田 義孝
Yoshitaka Sakurada at Geneva, 2014
Minister of State for the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games
In office
2 October 2018  10 April 2019[1]
Prime MinisterShinzo Abe
Preceded byShunichi Suzuki
Succeeded byShunichi Suzuki
Member of the House of Representatives
for Chiba's 8th district
Assumed office
27 December 2012
In office
21 October 1996  21 july 2009
Personal details
Born (1949-12-20) 20 December 1949
Kashiwa, Chiba, Japan
Alma materMeiji University

Career

A native of Kashiwa, Chiba, and graduate of Meiji University, Sakurada served in the city assembly of Kashiwa for two terms from 1987 and in the assembly of Chiba Prefecture from 1995. He was elected to the House of Representatives for the first time in 1996.

His profile on the LDP website:[3]

  • Director, Committee on Rules and Administration
  • Member, Committee on Fundamental National Policies
  • Member, Deliberative Council on Political Ethics
  • Deputy Chairman, Diet Affairs Committee of LDP

Sakurada is a board member of the Tokyo Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games (Tokyo 2020), and serves as a political adviser to the Pachinko Chain Stores Association (PCSA).

In October 2018, Sakurada entered the cabinet as the Minister of State for the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic games. He resigned from the post just six months later, after suggesting that the re-election campaign of a ruling LDP lawmaker was of a higher priority than the 2011 earthquake and tsunami reconstruction effort.[1][4]

Positions

Affiliated to the openly revisionist lobby Nippon Kaigi,[5] Sakurada attended a meeting on March 3, 2014 to seek a review of the Kono Statement and voiced his support for the revision.[6] In January 2016, he said that World War II comfort women were "professional prostitutes. That's business." He apologised later in the day.[7]

Sakurada is a member of the following right-wing Diet groups:

  • Nippon Kaigi Diet discussion group (日本会議国会議員懇談会 - Nippon kaigi kokkai giin kondankai)
  • Conference of Parliamentarians on the Shinto Association of Spiritual Leadership (神道政治連盟国会議員懇談会) - NB: SAS a.k.a. Sinseiren, Shinto Political League, Shinto Seiji Renmei Kokkai Giin Kondankai
  • Parliamentarians Acting to Protect Japanese Territory (日本の領土を守るため行動する議員連盟)

Sakurada gave the following answers to the questionnaire submitted by Mainichi to parliamentarians in 2012:[8]

  • in favor of the revision of the Constitution
  • in favor of the right of collective self-defense (revision of Article 9)
  • against the reform of the National Assembly (unicameral instead of bicameral)
  • in favor of reactivating nuclear power plants
  • against the goal of zero nuclear power by 2030s
  • in favor of the relocation of Marine Corps Air Station Futenma (Okinawa)
  • in favor of evaluating the purchase of Senkaku Islands by the Government
  • in favor of a strong attitude vis-a-vis China
  • against the participation of Japan to the Trans-Pacific Partnership
  • in favor of considering a nuclear-armed Japan in the future
  • against the reform of the Imperial Household that would allow women to retain their Imperial status even after marriage

Remarks

  • Despite being deputy chief of the government's cyber-security strategy office, Sakurada admitted to the Japanese Diet in November 2018 that he had never used, and did not know how to use, a computer.[9][10]
  • At the forum in Tokyo, Sakurada said that "I was aiming for the position of Prime Minister in the past, but I cannot speak English and I cannot use a personal computer, so I will give up on it.".[11][12]
  • Sakurada often makes mistakes in speech and has strange pronunciation, so people in his hometown of Kashiwa call him "Tetsuro Degawa of Kashiwa".[13][14]
  • During the election of the House of Representatives, Sakurada who was speaking was suddenly attacked by an unemployed man who was drunk. [15]

References

  1. "Japan's gaffe-prone Olympics minister resigns". Kyodo News. Tokyo, Japan. 10 April 2019. Retrieved 10 April 2019.
  2. 政治家情報 〜桜田 義孝〜. ザ・選挙 (in Japanese). JANJAN. Archived from the original on July 9, 2009. Retrieved 2007-10-20.
  3. "SAKURADA Yoshitaka". Liberal Democratic Party (Japan). Archived from the original on 2018-01-08. Retrieved 2018-11-24.
  4. "Olympics minister Sakurada expresses intention to resign over gaffes". The Mainichi. Tokyo, Japan. 10 April 2019. Retrieved 10 April 2019.
  5. Nippon Kaigi website
  6. "河野談話見直し、文科副大臣が集会で賛意 菅長官が注意" - Asahi Shimbun - March 4, 2014
  7. LDP lawmaker says 'comfort women' were prostitutes Japan Today
  8. Mainichi 2012: senkyo.mainichi.jp/46shu/kaihyo_area_meikan.html?mid=A12008005005
  9. "桜田大臣「自分でPC打たない」 サイバー担当なのに..." - FNN Prime - November 14, 2018
  10. System error: Japan cyber security minister admits he has never used a computer The Guardian, 2018
  11. INC, SANKEI DIGITAL (2018-12-20). "桜田義孝五輪相「首相目指すのやめる」 根底に英語への劣等感". 産経ニュース (in Japanese). Retrieved 2019-01-10.
  12. "「英語できず首相無理」 桜田五輪相". 日本経済新聞 電子版 (in Japanese). Retrieved 2019-01-10.
  13. "人呼んで"柏の出川哲朗" 言い間違え「桜田五輪相」". デイリー新潮 (in Japanese). Retrieved 2019-04-11.
  14. 「週刊文春」編集部. "PC使ったことない桜田五輪相 大学受験失敗からの処世術". 文春オンライン. Retrieved 2019-04-11.
  15. INC, SANKEI DIGITAL (2017-10-12). "演説中の候補者殴った疑い 千葉県警、男を逮捕". 産経ニュース (in Japanese). Retrieved 2019-04-11.
  16. "桜田よしたか物語" (PDF).
  17. "実はボンボン 桜田大臣"大工あがりの叩き上げ"は経歴詐称|日刊ゲンダイDIGITAL". 日刊ゲンダイDIGITAL (in Japanese). Retrieved 2019-04-11.
  18. "桜田義孝元五輪相「失言なんかしたことありません」と新失言". NEWSポストセブン (in Japanese). Retrieved 2019-09-16.
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