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Makiko Tanaka (left) visits with the United States Navy dive team engaged in the salvage and recovery operation of Ehime Maru off Oahu, Hawaii on September 9, 2001.

Makiko Tanaka (田中 眞紀子 Tanaka Makiko, born in Nishiyama, Niigata, January 14, 1944) is a Japanese politician, the daughter of former Prime Minister Kakuei Tanaka.

Tanaka attended high school at Germantown Friends School in the United States and graduated from Waseda University. She spent most of her early adulthood working with her father's political machine Etsuzankai organization, and was the first lady to her father since her mother, Hana, was absent due to long-standing illness. She was elected to the Lower House in 1993, shortly after her father's death.[1]

Tanaka was the first female foreign minister of Japan, from April 2001 to January 2002, but was fired from the cabinet after making remarks critical of Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi. Later that year, she was kicked out of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and barred from party membership for two years.

In August of 2002, Tanaka resigned from the Diet after allegations that she had embezzled her secretaries' civil service salaries. A Tokyo court cleared her in September, and she ran for the Diet again as an independent in November 2003.[2]

Her husband Naoki Suzuki, whom she married in 1969 was adopted as an adult into her family, due to the fact that she is an only child. Naoki Tanaka is an upper house member of the LDP.

In August 2009, Tanaka and her husband joined the opposition Democratic Party of Japan.[3]

Currently, she is now the chairperson of the Committee on Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of the current Diet session.[4]

References

Political offices
Preceded by
Yohei Kono
Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan
2001–2002
Succeeded by
Junichiro Koizumi
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