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In this Japanese name, the family name is Aso.
Taro Aso
麻生 太郎

Aso at the 2009 World Economic Forum.

In office
24 September 2008 – 16 September 2009
Monarch Akihito
Preceded by Yasuo Fukuda
Succeeded by Yukio Hatoyama

In office
31 October 2005 – 27 August 2007
Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi
Shinzo Abe
Preceded by Nobutaka Machimura
Succeeded by Nobutaka Machimura

In office
22 September 2003 – 31 October 2005
Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi
Preceded by Toranosuke Katayama
Succeeded by Heizo Takenaka

Minister in charge of Economic and Financial Policies
In office
23 January 2001 – 26 April 2001
Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori
Preceded by Fukushirō Nukaga

Director General of the Economic Planning Agency
In office
7 November 1996 – 11 September 1997
Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto
Preceded by Shūsei Tanaka
Succeeded by Koji Omi

Member of the House of Representatives for the 8th Fukuoka Prefecture
Incumbent
Assumed office 
1979
Majority 145,229 (55.4%) in 2005[1]

Born 20 September 1940 (1940-09-20) (age 69)
Iizuka, Japan
Political party Liberal Democratic Party
Spouse(s) Chikako Aso
Relations See: Family tree
Alma mater Gakushuin University
Stanford University
London School of Economics
Religion Roman Catholic
Website http://www.aso-taro.jp/

Taro Aso (麻生太郎 Asō Tarō?, born September 20, 1940) was the 59th Prime Minister of Japan serving from September 2008 to September 2009, and was defeated in the August 2009 election.

He has served in the House of Representatives since 1979. He was Minister for Foreign Affairs from 2005 to 2007, and was Secretary-General[2] of the LDP briefly in 2007 and in 2008. He was President [2] of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) from 2008 to 2009. His successor, Yukio Hatoyama, was chosen 28 September 2009.

Contents

Early life

Aso, a Roman Catholic, was born in Iizuka, Fukuoka on September 20, 1940.[3] His father, Takakichi Aso, was the chairman of the Aso Cement Company and a close associate of Prime Minister Kakuei Tanaka; his mother Kazuko Aso was Prime Minister Shigeru Yoshida's daughter. Taro is also a great-great-grandson of Toshimichi Okubo, and his current wife, Chikako is the third daughter of Prime Minister Zenko Suzuki. His younger sister, Nobuko, is the wife of Prince Tomohito of Mikasa, a first cousin of the Emperor Akihito.

Aso first graduated from the Faculty of Politics and Economics at Gakushuin University. He then studied in the United States at Stanford University, but was cut off by his family, who feared he was becoming too Americanized[citation needed]. After making his way back to Japan on a ship, he left once more to study at the London School of Economics.

Aso spent two years working for a diamond mining operation in Sierra Leone before civil war forced him to return to Japan.

Aso joined his father's company in 1966, and served as president of the Asō Mining Company from 1973 to 1979. Working for the company, he lived in Brazil during the 1960s; Aso speaks Portuguese fluently.[4]

He was also a member of the Japanese shooting team at the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal and President of the Japan Junior Chamber in 1978.

Political career

Aso was elected as a member of the House of Representatives in October 1979, and has since been re-elected eight times. In 1988, he became Parliamentary Vice Minister for Education.

He joined the Cabinet of Junichiro Koizumi in 2003 as Minister of Internal Affairs, Posts and Communications. On October 31, 2005, he became Minister for Foreign Affairs. There has been some speculation that his position in the Cabinet was due to his membership in the Kono Group, an LDP caucus led by pro-Chinese lawmaker Yohei Kono: by appointing Aso as Minister for Foreign Affairs, Koizumi may have been attempting to "rein in" Kono's statements critical of Japanese foreign policy.[5]

Aso was one of the final candidates to replace Koizumi as prime minister in 2006, but lost the internal party election to Shinzo Abe by a wide margin. Both Abe and Asō are conservative on foreign policy issues and have taken confrontational stances towards some East Asian nations, particularly North Korea and, to a lesser extent, the People's Republic of China. Abe was considered a more "moderate" politician than the more "hard-line" Aso, and led Aso in opinion polling within Japan.[6] Aso's views on multilateralism are suggested in a 2006 speech, "Arc of Freedom and Prosperity: Japan's Expanding Diplomatic Horizons."[7]

On September 14, 2007, shortly after Abe announced his resignation, Aso announced his candidacy to replace Abe as Prime Minister. Aso was initially considered to be a leading candidate for the position[8] but was soon eclipsed by Yasuo Fukuda, a more "dovish" politician supported by Nobutaka Machimura, Fukushiro Nukaga, and reportedly by Koizumi as well.[9] Aso acknowledged that he would most likely lose to Fukuda, but said that he wanted to run so that there would be an open election, saying that otherwise LDP would face criticism for making its choice "through back-room deals".[10] In the President election, held on September 23, Fukuda defeated Aso, receiving 330 votes against 197 votes for Aso.[11][12]

On August 1, 2008, Fukuda appointed Aso as Secretary-General of LDP, a move that solidified Aso's position as the number two man in the party.[13]

Suddenly and unexpectedly on September 1, 2008, Fukuda announced his resignation as Prime Minister.[14] Five LDP members including Aso ran for new party President to succeed Fukuda. On September 21, one day before votes of Diet party members, Aso reportedly told a crowd of supporters outside Tokyo: "The greatest concern right now is the economy." "America is facing a financial crisis ... we must not allow that to bring us down as well."[15] Finally on September 22, Aso did win. Aso was elected as President of LDP with 351 of 525 votes (217 from 384 Diet party members, 134 from 47 prefecture branches); Kaoru Yosano, Yuriko Koike, Nobuteru Ishihara, Shigeru Ishiba got 66, 46, 37, 25 votes respectively.[16][17][18]

Two days later on September 24, Aso was designated by the Diet as Prime Minister, and was formally appointed to the office by the Emperor on that night. In the House of Representatives (lower house), Aso garnered 337 out of 478 votes cast; in the House of Councillors (upper house), Ichiro Ozawa, President[19] of the main opposition Democratic Party of Japan, was named through two times of ballots.[20][21] Because no agreement was reached at a joint committee of both Houses, the resolution of the House of Representatives became the resolution of the Diet, as is stipulated in the Constitution.[21][22] Aso reportedly said, "If you look at the current period, it's not a stable one." and "These are turbulent times with the financial situation and everything else."[23]

Later on the same day as his election as Prime Minister, Aso personally announced his new Cabinet (this is normally done by the Chief Cabinet Secretary). Aso's Cabinet was markedly different from the preceding Cabinet under Fukuda. Five of its members had never previously served in the Cabinet, and one of them, 34-year-old Yuko Obuchi, was the youngest member of the Cabinet in the post-war era.[24]

Prime Minister Aso flew to Washington to meet with President Obama in February 2009. Aso was the first foreign leader to visit the Obama White House; however, reports suggested that the new administration was interested less in giving Aso a political boost than in sending a message that Japan continues to be an important ally and partner[25] – a low-risk, high-payoff gesture for both Aso and Obama.[26]

After Aso's election as prime minister he was expected to dissolve the lower house to clear the way for a general election.[27] But he repeatedly stressed the need for a functioning government to face the economic crisis and ruled out an early election.[28] Only after passage of the extra budget for fiscal 2009 in May and facing internal pressure from the LDP after a series of defeats in regional elections – most notably the Tokyo prefectural election on July 12 – Aso decided to announce a general election for August 30, 2009.[29] He dissolved the House of Representatives on July 21, 2009.[30] The LDP lost by a landslide to Minshuto, in the face of record levels of post-war unemployment. Accepting responsibility for the worst defeat of a sitting government in modern Japanese history, Aso immediately resigned as LDP president.

Fight against terrorism

Taro Aso meeting President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk on 18 February 2009.

On the November 2008 Mumbai attacks, Prime Minister Aso publicly made a speech, stating: "This kind of terrorism is unforgivable, extremely despicable and vicious. I feel strong resentment and deeply condemn it. Japan is with the Indian people who are fighting against terrorism and we will cooperate with the Indian government."[31]

Controversial statements

During a meeting of the Kono Group in 2001, Aso drew criticism when he said that "that burakumin can't become prime minister," referring to Hiromu Nonaka, a burakumin member of the Diet. Aso's office later attempted to clarify the statements by saying that they were misunderstood.[32]

In 2001, as economics minister, he was quoted as saying he wanted to make Japan a country where "rich Jews" would like to live.[33]

On October 15, 2005, during the opening ceremony of the Kyushu National Museum which also displays the Asian (Chinese/Korean etc) influenced Japanese cultural heritage, he praised Japan for having "one culture, one civilization, one language, and one ethnic group," and stated that it was the only such country in the world.[34] Such statements conflict with the fact Japan has various indigenous ethnic groups such as the Ainu who are spread over its northern islands.

At a lecture in Nagasaki Prefecture, Aso referred to a Japanese peace initiative on the Middle East, stating, "The Japanese were trusted because they had never been involved in exploitation there, or been involved in fights or fired machine guns. Japan is doing what the Americans can't do. It would probably be no good to have blue eyes and blond hair. Luckily, we Japanese have yellow faces."[33]

Taro Aso meeting President Barack Obama in White House.

Kyodo News reported that he had said on February 4, 2006, "our predecessors did a good thing" regarding compulsory education implemented during Japan's colonization of Taiwan.[35]

On December 21, 2005, he said China was "a neighbour with one billion people equipped with nuclear bombs and has expanded its military outlays by double digits for 17 years in a row, and it is unclear as to what this is being used for. It is beginning to be a considerable threat."[36] On January 28, 2006, he called for the emperor to visit the controversial Yasukuni shrine. He later backtracked on the comment, but stated that he hoped such a visit would be possible in the future.[37]

Mainichi Daily News reported that on March 9, 2006 he referred to Taiwan as a "law-abiding country", which drew strong protest from Beijing, which considers the island a part of China.[38]

On September 23, 2008, Akahata, the daily newspaper published by Japanese Communist Party released a compiled list of these and other statements as the front page article criticizing Aso.[39] This compilation as well as similar lists of blunders have been frequently cited in the Japanese media.

Yahoo News reported that he had said on January 9, 2009, "To work is good. It's completely different thinking from the Old Testament."[40]

Aso Mining forced labor controversy

Australian POWs forced to work at the Aso mining company, photographed in August 1945.

In mid-2008 Aso conceded that his family's coal mine, Aso Mining Company, was alleged to have forced Allied prisoners of war to work in the mines in 1945 without pay. Western media had reported that 300 prisoners, including 197 Australians, 101 British, and two Dutch, worked in the mine. Two of the Australians, John Watson and Leslie Edgar George Wilkie, died while working in the Aso mine.[41] In addition, 10,000 Korean conscripts worked in the mine between 1939 and 1945 under severe, brutal conditions in which many of them died or were injured while receiving little pay. The company, now known as the Aso Group, is currently run by Aso's younger brother. Aso's wife serves on its board of directors. Aso headed the company in the 1970s before going into politics.[42]

Acting on a request from Yukihisa Fujita, the Foreign Ministry investigated and announced on December 18, 2008 that Aso Mining had, in fact, used 300 Allied POWs at its mine during World War II. The ministry confirmed that two Australians had died while working at the mine, but declined to release their names or causes of deaths for "privacy reasons." Said Fujita, "Prisoner policy is important in many ways for diplomacy, and it is a major problem that the issue has been neglected for so long."[43] Aso has not responded to requests from former laborers to apologize for the way they were treated by his family's company.[44]

Reading mistakes

The Japanese media noted in November 2008 that Aso often mispronounced or incorrectly read kanji words written in his speeches, even though many of the words are commonly used in Japanese.[45] Aso spoke of the speaking errors to reporters on November 12, 2008 saying, "Those were just reading errors, just mistakes."[46] Aso's tendency for malapropisms has led comparisons to George W. Bush, and the use of his name, "Taro" as a schoolyard taunt for unintelligent children.[47]

An anatomy professor from the University of Tokyo, Takeshi Yoro, speculated that Aso could possibly suffer from dyslexia.[48]

Nonaka incident

In 2001, Aso, along with Hiromu Nonaka, was among the LDP's chief candidates to succeed Yoshiro Mori as prime minister of Japan. During a meeting of LDP leaders at which Nonaka was not present, Aso reportedly told the assembled group, "We are not going to let someone from the buraku become the prime minister, are we?". Aso's remark was apparently a reference to Nonaka's Burakumin, a social minority group in Japan, heritage.[49]

Nonaka subsequently withdrew as a candidate. Aso eventually lost the appointment to Junichiro Koizumi. Aso's comment about Nonaka's heritage was revealed in 2005. Aso denied that he had made the statement, but Hisaoki Kamei, who was present at the 2001 meeting, stated in January 2009 that he had heard Aso say something, "to that effect." Nonaka said that he would "never forgive" Aso for the comment and went on to state that Aso was a "misery" to Japan.[49]

Personal life

Fondness for fine dining

In October 2008, the Japanese media reported that Aso dined-out or drank in restaurants and bars in luxury hotels almost nightly. When asked about it, Aso stated, "I won't change my style. Luckily I have my money and can afford it." Aso added that if he went anywhere else, he would have to be accompanied by security guards which would cause trouble.[50]

According to the Asahi Shimbun Aso dined-out or drank at bars 32 times in September 2008, mainly at exclusive hotels. Aso's predecessor, Yasuo Fukuda, dined-out only seven times in his first month in office. Both of the LDP's opposition parties have called Aso's frequent outings inappropriate. Aso's Chief Cabinet Secretary, Jun Matsumoto, commented on the issue by saying that Aso's frequent trips to restaurants, "is his lifestyle and philosophy, and I am not in a position to express my opinion. If only there were more appropriate places when considering security issues and not causing trouble for other customers."[51]

Manga fan

Aso argues that embracing Japanese pop culture can be an important step to cultivating ties with other countries, hoping that manga will act as a bridge to the world.[52] He is referred to as an Otaku.[53]

Aso has been a fan of manga since childhood. He had his family send manga magazines from Japan while he was studying at Stanford University.[54] In 2003, he described reading about 10 or 20 manga magazines every week (making up only part of Aso's voracious reading) and talked about his impression of various manga extemporaneously.[54] In 2007, as Minister for Foreign Affairs, he established the International Manga Award for non-Japanese manga artists.[55][56][57]

It was reported that Aso was seen reading the manga "Rozen Maiden" in Tokyo International Airport, which earned him the sobriquet "His Excellency Rozen".[58] He admitted in an interview that he had read the manga; however, he said he did not remember whether he had read it in an airport.[59]

Aso's candidacy for the position of Japanese Prime Minister actually caused share-value to rise among some manga publishers and companies related to the manga industry.[52]

Religion

(Chigai Kuginuki), The mon of the Asō clan

As a Roman Catholic, Aso belongs to the small minority of Japanese Christians; but he has not emphasized his religiosity. While Christians only account for around 1% of the Japanese, Aso is the seventh Christian prime minister of Japan, after Hara Kei, Takahashi Korekiyo, Masayoshi Ōhira, Ichirō Hatoyama, Tetsu Katayama, his own grandfather Shigeru Yoshida, [60] and his succesor, Yukio Hatoyama.

On occasion of his 2009 new year visit to the Shinto Ise Shrine, Aso has publicly performed the hand-clapping in front of the shrine, stating later that he had "prayed for the good of the Japanese people".[61]

Family tree

Ōkubo Toshimichi
 
Mishima Michitsune
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Makino Nobuaki
 
Mineko
 
 
 
Takichi Aso
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Yukiko
 
Shigeru Yoshida
 
Taro Aso
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Ken'ichi Yoshida
 
Kazuko
 
 
 
Takakichi Aso
 
Zenko Suzuki
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Prince of Mikasa
 
Princess of Mikasa
 
Taro Aso
 
Chikako
 
Shunichi Suzuki
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Princess Akiko
 
Princess Yōko

References

  1. ^ The total of votes in the district was 262,162. Votes for each candidate (PDF), Total and subtotals (PDF), Fukuoka Prefectural election board. (Japanese)
  2. ^ a b "Official English Translations for LDP Officials and Party Organs", Liberal Democratic Party.
  3. ^ "Japanese foreign minister to announce bid to replace Koizumi", Forbes, 2006-08-20.
  4. ^ Article on O Estado de São Paulo, September 26, 2008. (Portuguese)
  5. ^ Hideo Hamada, "The Diet Now: Containment and Division", janjan.jp, 2005-11-01. (Japanese)
  6. ^ "Hardline Hawk or Unapologetic Bigot?", ComingAnarchy.com, 2005-11-01.
  7. ^ Calder, Kent E. and Francis Fukuyama. (2008). East Asian Multilateralism: Prospects for Regional Stability, pp. 179-180.
  8. ^ "Abe to resign as Japanese PM", CNN.com International, 2007-09-12.
  9. ^ "Japan PM race pits conservative Aso against dovish senior politician Fukuda", from The Associated Press on The Mainichi Daily News, The Mainichi Newspapers, 2007-09-14.
  10. ^ "Former FM Aso acknowledges probable defeat in Japan's leadership race", from The Associated Press on International Herald Tribune, 2007-09-16.
  11. ^ "Fukuda Chosen to Replace Abe as Japan's Prime Minister", VOANews.com, 2007-09-23.
  12. ^ "Fukuda wins LDP race / Will follow in footsteps of father as prime minister", The Daily Yomiuri, The Yomiuri Shimbun, 2007-09-23.
  13. ^ "Fukuda overhauls Cabinet / LDP executive shakeup also elevates Aso to party No. 2", The Yomiuri Shimbun, August 2, 2008.
  14. ^ "Fukuda announces resignation as prime minister of Japan", The Mainichi Daily News, The Mainichi Newspapers, 2008-09-01.
  15. ^ Joseph Coleman, "Japan ruling party turns to brash Aso", The Associated Press, 2008-09-22.
  16. ^ "党のあゆみ・総裁選挙", Liberal Democratic Party. (Japanese)
  17. ^ クローズアップ2008:自民新総裁に麻生氏 総選挙へ切り札, 毎日新聞: Osaka - Evening edition, The Mainichi Newspapers, 2008-09-23. (Japanese)
  18. ^ "Conservative Aso chosen as Japan PM", AFP, 2008-09-22.
  19. ^ "About us", The Democratic Party of Japan.
  20. ^ "LDP President Aso elected prime minister", The Mainichi Daily News, The Mainichi Newspapers, 2008-09-24.
  21. ^ a b "4TH LD: Aso elected Japan's prime minister, to form Cabinet+", Breitbart.com, 2008-09-24.
  22. ^ "The Constitution of Japan". Translation (presumably of non-official) available on the Cabinet PR site.
  23. ^ "Japan ruling party leader elected prime minister", from The Associated Press on washingtonpost.com, 2008-09-24.
  24. ^ "Aso elected premier / Announces Cabinet lineup himself; poll likely on Nov. 2", The Yomiuri Shimbun, 2005-09-25.
  25. ^ Klug, Foster. "Obama to meet with Japan Prime Minister Tara Aso," Associated Press. February 24, 2009; Fackler, Martin. "Japan’s Ruling Party Faces Political Extinction," New York Times. February 19, 2009; Landler, Mark and Martin Fackler. 'Clinton Offers Words of Reassurance While in Japan," New York Times. February 17, 2009;
  26. ^ Harden, Blaine. "Japan's Beleaguered Leader to See Obama," Washington Post. February 24, 2009.
  27. ^ "Taro Aso confirmed as Japan's PM". BBC News. September 24, 2008. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/7632864.stm. Retrieved July 23, 2009. 
  28. ^ "Aso again says no election soon. Dealing with economic crisis takes priority". The Japan Times. March 16, 2009. http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/nn20090316a2.html. Retrieved July 23, 2009. 
  29. ^ "Japan's PM Aso calls August vote". BBC News. July 13, 2009. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/8147059.stm. Retrieved July 23, 2009. 
  30. ^ "Lower house dissolved for general election. Aso says seeks 'a mandate from the public'". The Japan Times. July 21, 2009. http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/nn20090721x1.html. Retrieved July 23, 2009. 
  31. ^ "Mumbai attacks: Reaction from international leaders to terrorism," Telegraph (London). 27 November 2008.
  32. ^ 魚住昭(Akira Uozumi, Uozumi Akira) (2004-06-30). "the last chapter" (in Japanese). 野中広務 差別と権力. Kodansha. ISBN 978-4-06-212344-0. 
  33. ^ a b McCurry, Justin (March 23, 2007). "Blue eyes, blond hair: that's US problem, says Japanese minister". The Guardian. http://www.guardian.co.uk/usa/story/0,,2040957,00.html. Retrieved 2007-09-19. 
  34. ^ Christopher Reed, "Ghosts of Wartime Japan Haunt Koizumi's Cabinet”, New America Media, 2005-11-03.
  35. ^ Kyodo, "Taiwan colonization was 'good': Asō", The Japan Times Online, 2006-02-05.
  36. ^ "Japan alarmed by Chinese 'threat'", BBC, 2005-12-22.
  37. ^ Kyodo, "Aso rapped for emperor shrine visit remark", CHINAdaily.com.cn, 2006-01-29.
  38. ^ http://mdn.mainichi-msn.co.jp/national/news/20060309p2a00m0na026000c.html (deadlink)
  39. ^ "新総裁 麻生氏 発言録", しんぶん赤旗, Japanese Communist Party, 2008-09-13.
  40. ^ Yahoo, religions can learn from Japan: PM”, Yahoo!News, 2009-01-09.
  41. ^ Underwood, William, "Aso Mining's POW labor: the evidence", Japan Times, May 29, 2007.
  42. ^ Underwood, William, "WWII forced labor issue dogs Aso, Japanese firms", Japan Times, October 28, 2008, p. 16.
  43. ^ Ito, Masami, "It's official: Aso family mine used POW labor", Japan Times, December 19, 2008, p. 1.
  44. ^ "Ito, Masami, "Pair seek POW apology from Aso", Japan Times, June 20, 2009, p. 2.
  45. ^ Reuters "Japan PM Faces Reading Test As Popularity Sags", "Javno", January 20th, 2009.
  46. ^ Hongo, Jun, "Aso raises eyebrows with nonwords and wrong words", Japan Times, November 14, 2008.
  47. ^ http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/asia/article5659941.ece
  48. ^ 誤読連発の麻生は「読字障害」? 養老孟司氏が分析
  49. ^ a b Yamaguchi, Mari, "Discrimination claims die hard in Japan", Japan Times, January 25, 2009, p. 2.
  50. ^ Kyodo News, "Aso gets riled when quizzed over swanky wining, dining", reported in the Japan Times, October 23, 2008, p. 2.
  51. ^ Ito, Masami, "Aso defends his high-flying social life," Japan Times, October 24, 2008, p. 2.
  52. ^ a b "Manga shares gain on leader hopes". BBC News. 2007-09-12. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/6991720.stm. Retrieved 2007-12-22. 
  53. ^ "「御宅族」行「漫畫外交」受年輕人追捧 ("Otaku"'s "Manga diplomacy" celebrated by youngsters)", Wenweipo, 23 September, http://paper.wenweipo.com/2008/09/23/GJ0809230014.htm 
  54. ^ a b "麻生太郎 コミックを語る (Taro Aso talks about comics)" (in Japanese). Big Comic Original. Shogakukan (original publisher), Aso Taro Office (copy). 2003-07-02. http://www.chikuhou.or.jp/aso-taro/newspaper/030702-1.html. Retrieved 2007-12-22. 
  55. ^ "International Manga Award". The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan. http://www.mofa.go.jp/policy/culture/manga/index.html. Retrieved 2007-12-22. 
  56. ^ "Speech by Minister for Foreign Affairs Taro Aso at Digital Hollywood University". http://www.mofa.go.jp/announce/fm/aso/speech0604-2.html. Retrieved 2007-09-12. 
  57. ^ "Japan Launches International Manga Award". http://www.icv2.com/articles/home/10648.html. Retrieved 2007-09-12. 
  58. ^ Nakajima, Makoto. (2008). The Akiba: A Manga Guide to Akihabara, p. 25.
  59. ^ "麻生太郎「直撃! ローゼンメイデン疑惑?」 (Rozen Maiden suspicion: Interview with Aso Taro)" (in Japanese). Mechabi Vol. 1. Kodansha. 2006-06-02. ISBN 978-4-06-179591-4. ; 305, 296 (2007-06) (in Japanese). 自由と繁栄の弧. Gentosha. ISBN 978-4344013339. 
  60. ^ (Italian) Carrcer, Stefano. "Taro Aso, un cattolico in corsa per la guida del Giappone," Il Sole 24 Ore (Milano). 19 September 2008.
  61. ^ NHK evening news, 2009-1-4, 7 pm

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Shūsei Tanaka
Director of Economic Planning Agency
1996–1997
Succeeded by
Koji Omi
Preceded by
Fukushiro Nukaga
Minister in charge of Economic and Financial Policies
2001
Succeeded by
Heizō Takenaka
Preceded by
Toranosuke Katayama
Minister of Internal Affairs and Communications
2003–2005
Preceded by
Nobutaka Machimura
Minister of Foreign Affairs
2005 – 2007
Succeeded by
Nobutaka Machimura
Preceded by
Yasuo Fukuda
Prime Minister of Japan
2008–2009
Succeeded by
Yukio Hatoyama
Party political offices
Preceded by
Hidenao Nakagawa
Secretary General of Liberal Democratic Party
2007
Succeeded by
Bunmei Ibuki
Preceded by
Bunmei Ibuki
Secretary General of Liberal Democratic Party
2008
Succeeded by
Hiroyuki Hosoda
Preceded by
Yasuo Fukuda
President of Liberal Democratic Party
2008–2009
Succeeded by
Sadakazu Tanigaki

Simple English

File:Taro Aso
Taro Aso

Taro Aso (1940- ) is the President of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party of Japan, and the second Catholic Prime Minister of Japan. He is from Iizuka, Fukuoka Prefecture.








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