May 25, 2017
TOKYO- Former Japanese Finance Minister Kaoru Yosano, a politician well-versed in policy matters who devoted himself to fiscal reconstruction, has died, it was learned Wednesday. He was 78.
A grandson of prominent poets Tekkan and Akiko Yosano, he served as a secretary to Yasuhiro Nakasone, who later became prime minister, after graduating from the University of Tokyo in 1963.
Yosano was elected to the House of Representatives for the first time in 1976 from a Tokyo constituency on the ticket of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party. He won a Lower House seat nine more times.
Known as one of the top policy experts in the political world, Yosano led efforts to put Japan's debt-laden fiscal house in order.
He was appointed chief cabinet secretary in 2007 under the first government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
In 2008, Yosano ran in the LDP presidential election to pick the successor to Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda but lost by a wide margin to Taro Aso. He then served as economic and fiscal policy minister and finance minister in the Aso cabinet.
After the LDP was ousted from power in 2009, Yosano worked with Takeo Hiranuma, a former senior LDP member, and others to set up the Sunrise Party of Japan in April 2010. He was expelled by the LDP.
Although critical of the government led by the Democratic Party of Japan, now the main opposition Democratic Party, Yosano accepted a request from Prime Minister Naoto Kan in January 2011 to assume the post of economic and fiscal policy minister and left the Sunrise Party of Japan. (Jiji Press)
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