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In this Japanese name, the family name is Murayama.
Tomiichi Murayama
村山 富市

In office
30 June 1994 – 11 January 1996
Monarch Akihito
Preceded by Tsutomu Hata
Succeeded by Ryutaro Hashimoto

Born 3 March 1924 (1924-03-03) (age 86)
Ōita, Japan
Political party Social Democratic Party (Socialist Party until 1996)
Spouse(s) Yoshie Murayama
Alma mater Meiji University

Tomiichi Murayama (村山 富市 Murayama Tomiichi?, born March 3, 1924) is a retired Japanese politician who served as the 81st Prime Minister of Japan from June 30, 1994 to January 11, 1996. He was the head of the Social Democratic Party of Japan (until 1996, the Japan Socialist Party) and the first Socialist prime minister in nearly fifty years. He is most remembered today for his speech "On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the war's end," in which he publicly apologized for Japanese atrocities during World War II.

Early political life

Murayama was born in Ōita Prefecture; his father was a fisherman. He graduated from Meiji University and was appointed secretary of the labor union in his company and entered the Japan Socialist Party, which his union supported.

He began his political career as a member of the Ōita city council in 1955 and went on to serve three terms. In 1963 his supporters urged him to be a candidate for the Ōita prefectural assembly. He was elected three times successively. In December 1972 he was elected to the House of Representatives of Japan.

Murayama was known as a tough negotiator with a calm personality. He was not assertive but knew how to make a good compromise. In 1991 he was appointed chairman of the Diet Affairs Committee of his party, one of the eminent posts in any Japanese political party. In August 1993 after the general election, the Japan Socialist Party joined the cabinet until 1994. In October of the same year he was elected the head of the party.

Prime minister

He became Prime Minister on June 30, 1994. The cabinet was based on a coalition consisting of the Japan Socialist Party, the Liberal Democratic Party, and the New Party Sakigake.

Because of the unwieldy coalition and his character, his leadership was not strong. His party had been opposed to the Security Pact between Japan and the United States, but he stated that this pact was in accordance with the Constitution of Japan and disappointed many of his Socialist supporters. His government was criticised for not dealing quickly with the Kobe earthquake that hit Japan on January 17, 1995. Just two months later, on March 20, the Aum Shinrikyo cult carried out the Sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway.

As the prime minister, he apologised for the atrocities committed during World War II.

In the 1996 General Election, his party lost many seats in the House of Representatives. He expressed his wish to resign from the office of Prime Minister, but his supporters opposed. A few months later he resigned and was replaced by Ryutaro Hashimoto, the head of the Liberal Democratic Party.

In 2000, he retired from politics.

See also

Political offices
Preceded by
Tsutomu Hata
Prime Minister of Japan
Succeeded by
Ryutaro Hashimoto

This article incorporates text from OpenHistory.

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