Nobutaka Machimura

Nobutaka Machimura (町村 信孝, Machimura Nobutaka, 17 October 1944 – 1 June 2015) was a Japanese politician. He was a member of the House of Representatives of Japan and a member of the Liberal Democratic Party.[1] He was Chief Cabinet Secretary in the government of Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda from 2007 to 2008 and twice Minister for Foreign Affairs, in the cabinets of Junichiro Koizumi and Shinzō Abe. He resigned as the Speaker of the House of Representatives on 21 April 2015 after suffering from a stroke.[2]

Nobutaka Machimura
町村 信孝
Machimura Nobutaka 2015.jpg
Speaker of the House of Representatives
of Japan
In office
24 December 2014 – 21 April 2015
Preceded byBunmei Ibuki
Succeeded byTadamori Oshima
Chief Cabinet Secretary
In office
26 September 2007 – 24 September 2008
Prime MinisterYasuo Fukuda
Preceded byKaoru Yosano
Succeeded byTakeo Kawamura
Minister for Foreign Affairs
In office
27 August 2007 – 26 September 2007
Prime MinisterShinzō Abe
Preceded byTarō Asō
Succeeded byMasahiko Kōmura
In office
27 September 2004 – 21 September 2005
Prime MinisterJunichiro Koizumi
Preceded byYoriko Kawaguchi
Succeeded byTarō Asō
Personal details
Born(1944-10-17)17 October 1944
Numazu, Japan
Died1 June 2015(2015-06-01) (aged 70)
Tokyo, Japan
Alma materUniversity of Tokyo
Wesleyan University

Early life and educationEdit

Machimura was born on 17 October 1944. He attended the University of Tokyo and Wesleyan University in the United States.


Nobutaka Machimura and Condoleezza Rice in September 2007
With members of the Yasuo Fukuda Cabinet in September 2007

Machimura was elected to his first term in the House of Representatives in the December 1983 election, and he was re-elected in each election since. He became Minister of Education, Science, Sports and Culture on 11 September 1997, as part of Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto's second cabinet, and became State Secretary for Foreign Affairs on 31 July 1998, in Keizō Obuchi's first cabinet. In March 2000, he became Special Advisor to the Prime Minister, serving under Obuchi and his successor, Yoshirō Mori. On 5 December 2000, he became Minister of Education, Science, Sports and Culture and Director-General of the Science and Technology Agency, before becoming Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology on 6 January 2001.[1]

He was the Minister for Foreign Affairs under Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi from 27 September 2004[1] to 31 October 2005. His goals included signing a treaty with Russia relations with China and Korea form leader resolving a border dispute, and investigating the whereabouts of Japanese hostages who were kidnapped by North Korean agents during the 1970s and 1980s. He was replaced by Tarō Asō in the cabinet reshuffle that followed the 11 September 2005 election.

He was appointed Minister for Foreign Affairs again by Prime Minister Shinzō Abe on 27 August 2007.[3] In 2006, Machimura became chairman of the Seiwa Seisaku Kenkyūkai, the LDP's largest faction.[4] As such, on 14 September 2007, he backed Yasuo Fukuda's bid to become Abe's successor, following Abe's resignation on 12 September.[5] Since 2007, Machimura had co-chaired his faction alongside Hidenao Nakagawa and Shūzen Tanigawa.[6]

In Fukuda's government, sworn in on 16 September 2007, Machimura became Chief Cabinet Secretary and State Minister in charge of abduction issues.[7] He was replaced by Takeo Kawamura in the cabinet of prime minister Taro Aso, which was appointed on 24 September 2008.[8]

He was the vice president of the Japan-China Friendship Parliamentarians' Union.

Personal lifeEdit

On 18 December 2007, Machimura said at an official press conference that he believed in the existence of UFOs.[9][10]

On 1 June 2015, he died after a cerebral infarction at an hospital in Tokyo.[11]



  1. ^ a b c "Profile of Minister for Foreign Affairs Nobutaka Machimura", Foreign Ministry website.
  2. ^ "Lower House approves Machimura's resignation, selects Oshima as successor". The Japan Times. Retrieved 30 April 2015.
  3. ^ Takashi Hirokawa and Stuart Biggs, "Abe Replaces Finance Minister; Aso to Rebuild LDP", Bloomberg, 27 August 2007.
  4. ^ "Machimura takes top LDP faction". The Japan Times. 20 October 2006. Retrieved 2 February 2009.
  5. ^ Keiichi Yamamura and Sachiko Sakamaki, "Fukuda Challenges Aso in Race to Be Prime Minister", Bloomberg, 14 September 2007.
  6. ^ (in Japanese) Official faction website: List of chairmen
  7. ^ "Fukuda Cabinet launched / Changes minimized to reduce impact on Diet business", The Yomiuri Shimbun, 26 September 2007.
  8. ^ "Aso elected premier / Announces Cabinet lineup himself; poll likely on 2 November", The Yomiuri Shimbun, 25 September 2008.
  9. ^ (in Dutch) Japanse kabinetssecretaris gelooft in UFO's,, 19 December 2007
  10. ^ "UFOs exist, says Japan official". BBC. 18 December 2007. Retrieved 20 May 2010.
  11. ^ "Ex-lower house Speaker Machimura dies at 70". The Japan News. 1 June 2015. Archived from the original on 2 June 2015. Retrieved 30 June 2015.

External linksEdit

House of Representatives of Japan
Preceded by
Multi-member constituency
Representative for Hokkaidō 1st district

District eliminated
New constituency Representative for Hokkaidō 5th district
Succeeded by
Chiyomi Kobayashi
Preceded by
Representative for the Hokkaidō PR block
Succeeded by
Title last held by
Chiyomi Kobayashi
Representative for Hokkaidō 5th district
Preceded by
Bunmei Ibuki
Speaker of the House of Representatives of Japan
Succeeded by
Tadamori Oshima
Political offices
Preceded by
Kaoru Yosano
Chief Cabinet Secretary of Japan
Succeeded by
Takeo Kawamura
Preceded by
Kaoru Yosano
Minister of State for the Abduction Issue
Succeeded by
Kyoko Nakayama
Preceded by
Tarō Asō
Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan
Succeeded by
Masahiko Kōmura
Preceded by
Yoriko Kawaguchi
Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan
Succeeded by
Tarō Asō
New creation Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan
Succeeded by
Atsuko Toyama
Preceded by
Takashi Kosugi
Tadamori Oshima
Minister of Education
Succeeded by
Akito Arima
Office abolished