Zentaro Kosaka

Zentaro Kosaka (小坂 善太郎, Kosaka Zentarō, 23 January 1912[1][2] 26 November 2000) was a Japanese politician who served as foreign minister for two times and as labor minister.

Zentaro Kosaka
小坂 善太郎
Zentaro Kosaka in 1960
Minister of Foreign Affairs
In office
15 September 1976  24 December 1976
Prime MinisterTakeo Miki
Preceded byKiichi Miyazawa
Succeeded byIichirō Hatoyama
Minister of State, Head of the Economic Planning Agency
In office
22 December 1972  25 November 1973
Prime MinisterKakuei Tanaka
Preceded byKiichi Arita
Succeeded byTsuneo Uchida
Minister of Foreign Affairs
In office
8 December 1960  18 July 1962
Prime MinisterHayato Ikeda
Preceded byAiichiro Fujiyama
Succeeded byMasayoshi Ōhira
Chairman of the National Public Safety Commission
In office
1 July 1954  1 October 1954
Prime MinisterShigeru Yoshida
Preceded byOffice established
Succeeded byNaoshi Ohara
Minister of Labour
In office
21 May 1953  16 June 1954
Prime MinisterShigeru Yoshida
Preceded byKuichiro Totsuka
Succeeded bySaburo Chiba
Member of the House of Representatives
In office
10 April 1946  18 February 1990
Personal details
Born(1912-01-23)23 January 1912
Nagano, Japan
Died26 November 2000(2000-11-26) (aged 88)
Tokyo, Japan
Political partyLiberal Democratic Party
Alma materHitotsubashi University

Early life and education

Hailed from Nagano Prefecture, Kosaka was born into a politician family in 1912.[3] His grandfather, Zennosuke Kosaka, was the founder of the daily Shinano Mainichi and a politician. His father, Junzo Kosaka, was also a politician. His younger brother, Tokusaburo Kosaka, was a leading politician of the Liberal Democratic Party.[4] Zentaro Kosaka was a graduate of Tokyo University of Commerce (present-day Hitotsubashi University).[3]


After graduation, Kosaka began his career at the Mitsubishi Bank. Then he worked for Shin-Etsu Chemical that was established by his father, Junzo Kosaka.[3] Later he joined the Liberal Democratic Party.[5] He was part of the faction headed by Hayato Ikeda.[6]

Kosaka first became a member of the House of Representatives in 1946, being a representative for the Nagano Prefecture.[3] He served at the lower house 16 times and held different ministerial post. On 6 September 1960, Kosaka visited Seoul, being the first Japanese official to visit South Korea since 1945.[7] He was appointed labor minister in the Yoshida Cabinet, foreign minister in the cabinets of Hayato Ikeda and Takeo Miki. His first term as foreign minister was from 8 December 1960 to 18 July 1962.[8]

In August 1966, Kosaka and Yoshimi Furui headed an eight-member LDP delegation to visit China.[6] They both held the views of right-conservatism, arguing for Japan's independence from the US and normalized relations with China.[6] After the visit, Kosaka developed a policy report, called the Kosaka Report, which was submitted to the LDP's policy affairs research council.[6]

In 1968, Kosaka stated his desire to visit Mongolia to search for the viability of economic assistance towards the country.[9] In 1970, Kosaka argued that Japan should declare a "no-war" notice in order to reduce tensions between Japan and China.[10] He was also the head of political affairs research committee in the LDP during the same period.[9] He also served as the head of economic planning agency during the term of the then Prime Minister Kakuei Tanaka.[3] On 24 July 1972, Tanaka also appointed him as chairman of the newly founded Council for the normalization of Japan-China relations in the LDP.[11][12] The task of the council that consisted of 312 members was to reach a consensus, since the pro-Taiwan and pro-Peking factions over the whole peace treaty issue emerged in the party.[11] IN September 1972, Kosaka visited Pekin as special envoy of the prime minister Tanaka.[11] Then Kosaka served as deputy prime minister and visited Libya in January 1974.[13]

Kosaka was secondly appointed foreign minister in 1976.[3] In 1976, he called for a reform of the UN security council at the UN general assembly.[14] At the beginning of the 1980s, he served as the chairman of the LDP's foreign affairs research council.[15] Kosaka retired from politics in 1990.[3]

Personal life and legacy

Kosaka's son, Kenji Kosaka, is a LDP politician and former minister of education.[16] Kosaka participated his son's election campaign for the lower house in the Nagano district in 1990.[17]

The Chinese restaurant of Okura Hotel in Tokyo was named by Kosaka.[18]


Kosaka died of renal failure in Tokyo on 26 November 2000.[19] He was 88.[3]


  1. "Ex-Foreign Minister Zentaro Kosaka dies". The Japan Times. 27 November 2000. Retrieved 3 January 2013.
  2. Tsuyoshi Sunora (15 May 2007). "A Missionary for 'Civilian Diplomacy'". Japan Center for International Exchange. Retrieved 30 January 2014.
  3. Frank Langdon (1973). Japan's Foreign Policy. UBC Press. p. 204. ISBN 978-0-7748-0015-0. Retrieved 3 January 2013.
  4. Qingxin Ken Wang (2000). Hegemonic Cooperation and Conflict: Postwar Japan's China Policy and the United States. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 145. ISBN 978-0-275-96314-9. Retrieved 10 January 2013.
  5. Chong-Sik Lee (1 January 1985). Japan and Korea: The Political Dimension. Hoover Press. p. 45. ISBN 978-0-8179-8183-9. Retrieved 30 January 2014.
  6. Janet Hunter (1984). Concise Dictionary of Modern Japanese History. University of California Press. p. 307. ISBN 978-0-520-04557-6. Retrieved 3 January 2013.
  7. Stephen Kotkin; Bruce A. Elleman (1999). Mongolia in the Twentieth Century: Landlocked Cosmopolitan. M.E. Sharpe. p. 172. ISBN 978-0-7656-0535-1. Retrieved 3 January 2013.
  8. Albert Axelbank (2 November 2010). Black Star Over Japan: Rising Forces of Militarism. Taylor & Francis. p. 78. ISBN 978-0-415-58758-7. Retrieved 3 January 2013.
  9. Hsiao, Gene T. (January–March 1974). "The Sino-Japanese Rapprochement: A Relationship of Ambivalence". The China Quarterly. 57: 101–123. doi:10.1017/s0305741000010961. JSTOR 652231.
  10. Gerald L. Curtis (1999). The Logic of Japanese Politics: Leaders, Institutions, and the Limits of Change. Columbia University Press. p. 13. ISBN 978-0-231-10843-0. Retrieved 3 January 2013.
  11. "Negative results mark Japanese visit to Libya". Wikileaks. 29 January 1974. Retrieved 30 January 2014.
  12. Kazuhiko Tōgō (1 August 2010). Japan's Foreign Policy, 1945-2009: The Quest for a Proactive Policy. BRILL. p. 378. ISBN 978-90-04-18501-2. Retrieved 3 January 2013.
  13. Lohr, Steve (3 April 1982). "Japan studies offering loans to U.S. business". The New York Times. p. 31.
  14. "Few surprises in new Cabinet, announced by Junichiro Koizumi". Pravda. 1 November 2005. Retrieved 3 January 2013.
  15. Makihara, Kumiko (19 February 1990). "Japan In the Diet, It's All in the Family". Times. Tokyo. Retrieved 3 January 2013.
  16. "History". Okura Hotel. Retrieved 30 January 2014.
  17. "November 2000". Rulers. Retrieved 3 January 2013.
House of Representatives of Japan
Preceded by
Etsujirō Uehara
Chair, Budget Committee of the House of Representatives of Japan
Succeeded by
Toichiro Tsukada
Party political offices
Preceded by
Mikio Mizuta
Chairman of the Policy Research Council, Liberal Democratic Party
Succeeded by
Yoshio Sakurauchi
Political offices
Preceded by
Kuichiro Totsuka
Minister of Labour
Succeeded by
Saburo Chiba
Preceded by
Office established
Chairman of the National Public Safety Commission
Succeeded by
Naoshi Ohara
Preceded by
Aiichiro Fujiyama
Minister for Foreign Affairs
Succeeded by
Masayoshi Ōhira
Preceded by
Kiichi Arita
Minister of State, Head of the Economic Planning Agency
Succeeded by
Tsuneo Uchida
Preceded by
Kiichi Miyazawa
Minister for Foreign Affairs
Succeeded by
Iichirō Hatoyama
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