Kiichi Miyazawa

Kiichi Miyazawa (宮澤 喜一, Miyazawa Kiichi, 8 October 1919 – 28 June 2007[1]) was a Japanese politician who served as Prime Minister of Japan from 1991 to 1993. He was a member of the National Diet of Japan for over 50 years.

Kiichi Miyazawa
宮澤 喜一
Kiichi Miyazawa 19911105.jpg
Official portrait, 1991
Prime Minister of Japan
In office
5 November 1991 – 9 August 1993
Preceded byToshiki Kaifu
Succeeded byMorihiro Hosokawa
Minister of Finance
In office
30 July 1998 – 26 April 2001
Prime MinisterKeizo Obuchi
Yoshiro Mori
Preceded byHikaru Matsunaga
Succeeded byMasajuro Shiokawa
In office
22 July 1986 – 9 December 1988
Prime MinisterYasuhiro Nakasone
Noboru Takeshita
Preceded byNoboru Takeshita
Succeeded byNoboru Takeshita
Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries
In office
4 August 1993 – 9 August 1993
Prime MinisterHimself
Preceded byMasami Tanabu
Succeeded byEijiro Hata
Minister of Posts and Telecommunications
In office
20 July 1993 – 9 August 1993
Prime MinisterHimself
Preceded byJunichiro Koizumi
Succeeded byTakenori Kanzaki
Chief Cabinet Secretary
In office
17 July 1980 – 27 November 1982
Prime MinisterZenko Suzuki
Preceded byMasayoshi Ito
Succeeded byMasaharu Gotōda
Director General of the Economic Planning Agency
In office
27 November 1977 – 7 December 1978
Prime MinisterTakeo Fukuda
Preceded byTadashi Kuranari
Succeeded byTokusaburo Kosaka
In office
3 December 1966 – 30 November 1968
Prime MinisterEisaku Sato
Preceded byEisaku Sato
Succeeded byWataro Kanno
In office
18 July 1962 – 18 July 1964
Prime MinisterHayato Ikeda
Preceded byHayato Ikeda
Succeeded byMamoru Takahashi
Minister of Foreign Affairs
In office
9 December 1974 – 15 September 1976
Prime MinisterTakeo Miki
Preceded byToshio Kimura
Succeeded byZentaro Kosaka
Minister of International Trade and Industry
In office
14 January 1970 – 5 July 1971
Prime MinisterEisaku Sato
Preceded byMasayoshi Ohira
Succeeded byKakuei Tanaka
Member of the National Diet of Japan
House of Councillors (1953-1967)
House of Representatives (1967-2003)
In office
19 April 1953 – 9 November 2003
Personal details
Born(1919-10-08)8 October 1919
Fukuyama, Hiroshima, Empire of Japan
Died28 June 2007(2007-06-28) (aged 87)
Tokyo, Japan
Political partyLiberal Democratic Party
SpouseYoko Miyazawa
Alma materTokyo Imperial University

Early life and educationEdit

Miyazawa was born into a wealthy, politically active family in Fukuyama, Hiroshima,[2] on 8 October 1919, as the eldest son of politician Yutaka Miyazawa and his wife Koto. His father was a member of the Diet,[2][3] and his mother was the daughter of politician Ogawa Heikichi, who served as Minister of Justice and Minister of Railways. Following the 1923 Great Kantō earthquake, Miyazawa lived at his grandfather Ogawa Heikichi's villa Kasuian in Hiratsuka. At the time, his father Yutaka worked for Yamashita Kisen, whilst planning to move his political career from Hiroshima Prefecture to the National Diet.[4] Miyazawa graduated from Tokyo Imperial University with a degree in law.[2]


In 1942, Miyazawa joined the Ministry of Finance, avoiding military service during World War II.[2] While in the Ministry, he became a protégé of future prime minister Hayato Ikeda.

In 1953, at Ikeda's urging, Miyazawa ran for and won election to the Upper House of the National Diet, where he remained until moving to the Lower House in 1967.[2] As a leading figure in Ikeda's Kōchikai policy group, Miyazawa was considered a member of Ikeda's "brains trust."[5] In 1961, Miyazawa accompanied Ikeda to a summit meeting with U.S. President John F. Kennedy, and due to his excellent English, served as Ikeda's sole translator during the latter's "yacht talks" with Kennedy on Kennedy's presidential yacht, the Honey Fitz.[6]

Beginning with the Ikeda cabinet, Miyazawa held a number of important government posts, including Director of the Economic Planning Agency (1962-1964), Director of the Economic Planning Agency (1966-1968), Minister of International Trade and Industry (1970–1971), Minister of Foreign Affairs (1974–1976), Director of the Economic Planning Agency (1977–1978), and Chief Cabinet Secretary (1984–1986). He became Minister of Finance under the government of Noboru Takeshita in July 1986. However, Miyazawa had to resign from this post amid the Recruit scandal in 1988.[1]

Prime ministerEdit

Miyazawa with Bill Clinton at the Garden of Iikura Guest House on 6 July 1993

Miyazawa became Prime Minister on 5 November 1991 backed by his faction.[7] Miyazawa gained brief fame in the United States when President George H. W. Bush vomited in his lap and fainted during a state dinner on 8 January 1992.

In 1992, while he was in South Korea, he formally apologized for Japan's use of comfort women, making him the first Japanese leader to acknowledge that Japan's military coerced women into sexual slavery before and during the second world war.[2]

His government passed a law allowing Japan to send its forces overseas for peacekeeping missions as well as negotiating a trade agreement with the United States. It also introduced financial reforms to address the growing economic malaise in Japan in the 1990s. Miyazawa resigned in 1993 after losing a vote of no confidence marking an end to 38 years of Liberal Democratic Party government.[1] The reason for the vote was a scandal involving Fumio Abe, a member of Miyazawa's faction.[7] The Liberal Democratic Party returned to power in June 1994.

Subsequent careerEdit

with Robert Rubin (on 26 April 1999)

Miyazawa later returned to frontbench politics when he was once again appointed finance minister from 1998 to 2001 in the governments of Keizō Obuchi and Yoshirō Mori. In 1998, Miyazawa replaced Hikaru Matsunaga as finance minister.[8][9] He served a total of 14 terms in both upper and lower houses before retiring from politics in 2003.[2][10] The reason for his retirement was that then prime minister Junichiro Koizumi set an age limit of 73 for LDP political candidates.[11]

Personal lifeEdit

Miyazawa married while studying in the United States. He and his wife, Yoko, had two children: Hiro, an architect, and Keiko, who became wife of diplomat Christopher J. LaFleur [zh].[12][2] He published a book, entitled Secret Talks Between Tokyo and Washington, which was translated into English by Robert D. Eldridge in 2007. The book is about Miyazawa's views concerning the relationships between the US and Japan in terms of the political, economic, and security-related negotiations during the period of 1949 and 1954.[13]


Miyazawa died in Tokyo at the age of 87 on 28 June 2007.[1][10]


  1. ^ a b c d Martin, Douglas (29 June 2007). "Kiichi Miyazawa, Japan Premier in the 90s, Dies at 87". New York Times. Retrieved 8 October 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h McCurry, Justin (30 June 2007). "Obituary. Kiichi Miyazawa". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 January 2013.
  3. ^ Calder, Kent E. (January 1992). "Japan in 1991: Uncertain Quest for a Global Role". Asian Survey. 32 (1): 32–41. doi:10.2307/2645196. JSTOR 2645196.
  4. ^ Kiyomiya, Ryū (1992). Miyazawa kiichi zenjinzō. 竜 清宮. 行研出版局. p. 48. ISBN 4-905786-89-4. OCLC 675708973.
  5. ^ Kapur, Nick (2018). Japan at the Crossroads: Conflict and Compromise after Anpo. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press. p. 76. ISBN 978-0674984424.
  6. ^ Kapur, Nick (2018). Japan at the Crossroads: Conflict and Compromise after Anpo. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press. pp. 60–61. ISBN 978-0674984424.
  7. ^ a b Jameson, Sam (2 February 1992). "Miyazawa's Party Faction Chief Indicted". Los Angeles Times. Tokyo. Retrieved 11 January 2013.
  8. ^ "Matsunaga expects economy to recover under Miyazawa". Kyodo News. Tokyo. 30 July 1998. Retrieved 5 January 2013.
  9. ^ "Kiichi Miyazawa: plagued by bribery". BBC. 29 July 1998. Retrieved 11 January 2013.
  10. ^ a b "Former Japan PM Kiichi Miyazawa dead". UPI. Tokyo. 28 June 2007. Retrieved 11 January 2013.
  11. ^ Nakamoto, Michiyo (28 June 2007). "Former Japanese PM Miyazawa dies". Financial Times. Tokyo. Retrieved 5 January 2013.
  12. ^ Weisman, Steven R. (28 October 1991). "Man in the News: Kiichi Miyazawa; Self-Assured Leader of Japan". The New York Times.
  13. ^ Miyazawa, Kiichi (2007). Secret Talks Between Tokyo and Washington. ISBN 9780739120149. Retrieved 5 January 2013.

External linksEdit

Party political offices
Preceded by President of the Liberal Democratic Party
Succeeded by
Preceded by Head of Kōchikai
Succeeded by
Political offices
Preceded by Minister of State
Head of the Economic Planning Agency

Succeeded by
Mamoru Takahashi
Preceded by Minister of State
Head of the Economic Planning Agency

Succeeded by
Preceded by Minister of International Trade and Industry
Succeeded by
Preceded by Minister for Foreign Affairs
Succeeded by
Preceded by Minister of State
Head of the Economic Planning Agency

Succeeded by
Preceded by Chief Cabinet Secretary
Succeeded by
Masaharu Gotōda
Preceded by Minister of Finance
Succeeded by
Preceded by Deputy Prime Minister of Japan
Succeeded by
Preceded by Prime Minister of Japan
Succeeded by
Preceded by Minister of Posts and Telecommunications
Succeeded by
Preceded by Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries
Succeeded by
Preceded by Minister of Finance
Succeeded by
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by Chairperson of the G7
Succeeded by
Honorary titles
Preceded by
Takenori Katō
Youngest member of the House of Councillors of Japan
Succeeded by
Tadashi Ōya