Obuchi Cabinet

The Obuchi Cabinet governed Japan from July 1998 to April 2000 under the leadership of Prime Minister Keizō Obuchi, who took office after winning the Liberal Democratic Party leadership.[1] Initially a continued LDP single-party government without legislative majority in parliament on its own after the 1998 election, it expanded to become a coalition involving first the Liberal Party and then the New Komeito over the course of its term. The government focused on economic revival, with former Prime Minister Kiichi Miyazawa recalled to the position of Finance Minister, and introduced policies designed to stimulate the economy through tax cuts and public spending increases.[2][3]

Obuchi Cabinet
Flag of Japan.svg
84th Cabinet of Japan
Keizo.jpg
Date formedJuly 30, 1998
Date dissolvedApril 5, 2000
People and organisations
Head of stateEmperor Akihito
Head of governmentKeizō Obuchi
Member partyLDP (1998-99)
LDP-LP (1999)
LDP-LP-NKP (1999-2000)
LDP-NCP-NKP (2000)
Status in legislatureHR majority, HC minority government (Twisted Diet) (1998-99)
Majority coalition (1999-2000)
Opposition partyDemocratic Party of Japan
Opposition leaderNaoto Kan (1998-99)
Yukio Hatoyama (1999-2000)
History
PredecessorSecond Hashimoto Cabinet
SuccessorFirst Mori Cabinet

Obuchi reshuffled his cabinet twice, firstly in January 1999 after having negotiated a coalition agreement with the Liberal Party. This did not bring about any major change in personnel other than to bring Liberal Takeshi Noda into government as Home Minister, and reduce the number of ministers by doubling up portfolios.[4] The second reshuffle in October 1999 was a more substantial reconstruction, and took place following Obuchi's re-election as LDP president. At the same time, the coalition expanded again to include the New Komeito, beginning the long-running LDP-NKP partnership.[5] The coalition continued until April 2000 when Liberal Leader Ichirō Ozawa decided to withdraw from the arrangement, causing a section of the Liberal Party to break away and form the New Conservative Party, which remained in the government.[6]

The Obuchi cabinet ended in early April 2000 when Obuchi fell into a coma after suffering a serious, and ultimately fatal stroke. With the Prime Minister unable to discharge his duties, Chief Cabinet Secretary Mikio Aoki served as Acting Prime Minister for several days, until the cabinet determined to resign and Yoshirō Mori was chosen to replace Obuchi.[7][8][9]

Election of the Prime MinisterEdit

Obuchi's election demonstrated how the Diet was divided following the 1998 upper house election. In the House of Representatives, Obuchi was elected on the first ballot, however the first ballot in the House of Councillors did not produce a majority for any candidate. In the subsequent runoff vote, opposition leader Naoto Kan won with the support of all opposition parties allied against the LDP. This did not affect Obuchi's appointment as Prime Minister, as the constitution stipulates that in such a scenario, the will of the lower house prevails.[10]

30 July 1998
House of Representatives
Absolute majority (251/500) required
Choice First Vote
Votes
 YKeizō Obuchi
268 / 500
Naoto Kan
164 / 500
Others and Abstentions (Including Speaker and Deputy)
68 / 500
Source Diet Minutes - 143rd Session (Representatives)
30 July 1998
House of Councillors
Absolute majority (127/252) required
Choice First Vote
Votes
Keizō Obuchi
103 / 252
Naoto Kan
98 / 252
Others and Abstentions (Including Speaker and Deputy)
51 / 252
Source Diet Minutes - 143rd Session (Councillors)
30 July 1998
House of Councillors
Simple majority required
Choice Runoff Vote
Votes
Naoto Kan
142 / 252
 YKeizō Obuchi
103 / 252
Others and Abstentions (Including Speaker and Deputy)
7 / 252
Source Diet Minutes - 143rd Session (Both houses)

MinistersEdit

  Liberal Democratic
  Liberal (1998)
  New Komeito
  Independent
R = Member of the House of Representatives
C = Member of the House of Councillors

CabinetEdit

Cabinet of Keizō Obuchi from July 30, 1998 to January 14, 1999
Portfolio Minister Term of Office
Prime Minister Keizō Obuchi R July 30, 1998 - April 5, 2000
Minister of Justice Shozaburo Nakamura R July 30, 1998 - March 8, 1999
Minister of Foreign Affairs Masahiko Kōmura R July 30, 1998 - October 5, 1999
Minister of Finance Kiichi Miyazawa R July 30, 1998 - April 26, 2001
Minister of Education Akito Arima C July 30, 1998 - October 5, 1999
Minister of Health and Welfare Sohei Miyashita R July 30, 1998 - October 5, 1999
Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Shōichi Nakagawa R July 30, 1998 - October 5, 1999
Minister of International Trade and Industry Kaoru Yosano R July 30, 1998 - October 5, 1999
Minister of Transport Jirō Kawasaki R July 30, 1998 - October 5, 1999
Minister of Posts and Telecommunications Seiko Noda R July 30, 1998 - October 5, 1999
Minister of Labour Akira Amari R July 30, 1998 - January 14, 1999
Minister of Construction Katsutsugu Sekiya R July 30, 1998 - October 5, 1999
Minister of Home Affairs
Director of the National Public Safety Commission
Mamoru Nishida R July 30, 1998 - January 14, 1999
Chief Cabinet Secretary Hiromu Nonaka R July 30, 1998 - October 5, 1999
Director of the Management and Coordination Agency Seiichi Ota R July 30, 1998 - October 5, 1999
Director of the Hokkaido Development Agency
Director of the Okinawa Development Agency
Kichio Inoue C July 30, 1998 - January 14, 1999
Director of the Japan Defense Agency Fukushiro Nukaga R July 30, 1998 - November 21, 1998
Hosei Norota R November 21, 1998 - October 5, 1999
Director of the Economic Planning Agency Taichi Sakaiya - July 30, 1998 - December 5, 2000
Director of the Science and Technology Agency Yutaka Takeyama C July 30, 1998 - January 14, 1999
Director of the Environment Agency Kenji Manabe C July 30, 1998 - October 5, 1999
Director of the National Land Agency Hakuo Yanagisawa R July 30, 1998 - October 23, 1998
Kichio Inoue C October 23, 1998 - January 14, 1999
Minister of State for Financial Reconstruction Hakuo Yanagisawa R October 23, 1998 - December 15, 1998
Chairman of the Financial Reconstruction Commission December 15, 1998 - October 5, 1999
Deputy Secretaries
Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary (Political Affairs - House of Representatives) Muneo Suzuki R July 30, 1998 - October 5, 1999
Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary (Political Affairs - House of Councillors) Mitsuhiro Uesugi C July 30, 1998 - October 5, 1999
Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary (Bureaucrat) Teijiro Furukawa - February 24, 1995 - September 22, 2003

ChangesEdit

  • October 23 - Hakuo Yanagisawa the Director of the National Land Agency was moved to become the Minister of State for Financial Reconstruction (which later became the Chairman of the Financial Reconstruction Commission) and was replaced with Yoshio Inoue, who doubled up as Hokkaido and Okinawa development minister.
  • November 21 - Fukushiro Nukaga resigned as Defence Minister due to a corruption scandal, he was replaced with Hosei Norota.[11]

First Reshuffled CabinetEdit

Cabinet of Keizō Obuchi from January 14, 1999 to October 5, 1999
Portfolio Minister Term of Office
Prime Minister Keizō Obuchi R July 30, 1998 - April 5, 2000
Minister of Justice Shozaburo Nakamura R July 30, 1998 - March 8, 1999
Takao Jinnouchi C March 8, 1999 - October 5, 1999
Minister of Foreign Affairs Masahiko Kōmura R July 30, 1998 - October 5, 1999
Minister of Finance Kiichi Miyazawa R July 30, 1998 - April 26, 2001
Minister of Education
Director of the Science and Technology Agency
Akito Arima C July 30, 1998 - October 5, 1999
Minister of Health and Welfare Sohei Miyashita R July 30, 1998 - October 5, 1999
Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Shōichi Nakagawa R July 30, 1998 - October 5, 1999
Minister of International Trade and Industry Kaoru Yosano R July 30, 1998 - October 5, 1999
Minister of Transport
Director of the Hokkaido Development Agency
Jirō Kawasaki R July 30, 1998 - October 5, 1999
Minister of Posts and Telecommunications Seiko Noda R July 30, 1998 - October 5, 1999
Minister of Labour Akira Amari R July 30, 1998 - October 5, 1999
Minister of Construction
Director of the National Land Agency
Katsutsugu Sekiya R July 30, 1998 - October 5, 1999
Minister of Home Affairs
Director of the National Public Safety Commission
Takeshi Noda R January 14, 1999 - October 5, 1999
Chief Cabinet Secretary
Director of the Okinawa Development Agency
Hiromu Nonaka R July 30, 1998 - October 5, 1999
Director of the Management and Coordination Agency Seiichi Ota R July 30, 1998 - October 5, 1999
Director of the Japan Defense Agency Hosei Norota R November 21, 1998 - October 5, 1999
Director of the Economic Planning Agency Taichi Sakaiya - July 30, 1998 - December 5, 2000
Director of the Environment Agency Kenji Manabe C July 30, 1998 - October 5, 1999
Chairman of the Financial Reconstruction Commission Hakuo Yanagisawa R December 15, 1998 - October 5, 1999
Deputy Secretaries
Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary (Political Affairs - House of Representatives) Muneo Suzuki R July 30, 1998 - October 5, 1999
Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary (Political Affairs - House of Councillors) Mitsuhiro Uesugi C July 30, 1998 - October 5, 1999
Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary (Bureaucrat) Teijiro Furukawa - February 24, 1995 - September 22, 2003

ChangesEdit

Second Reshuffled CabinetEdit

Cabinet of Keizō Obuchi from October 5, 1999 to April 5, 2000
Portfolio Minister Term of Office
Prime Minister Keizō Obuchi R July 30, 1998 - April 5, 2000
Minister of Justice Hideo Usui R October 5, 1999 - July 4, 2000
Minister of Foreign Affairs Yōhei Kōno R October 5, 1999 - April 26, 2001
Minister of Finance Kiichi Miyazawa R July 30, 1998 - April 26, 2001
Minister of Education
Director of the Science and Technology Agency
Hirofumi Nakasone C October 5, 1999 - July 4, 2000
Minister of Health and Welfare Yuya Niwa R October 5, 1999 - July 4, 2000
Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Tokuichiro Tamazawa R October 5, 1999 - July 4, 2000
Minister of International Trade and Industry Takashi Fukaya R October 5, 1999 - July 4, 2000
Minister of Transport
Director of the Hokkaido Development Agency
Toshihiro Nikai R October 5, 1999 - July 4, 2000
Minister of Posts and Telecommunications Eita Yashiro R October 5, 1999 - July 4, 2000
Minister of Labour Takamori Makino R October 5, 1999 - July 4, 2000
Minister of Construction
Director of the National Land Agency
Masaaki Nakayama R October 5, 1999 - July 4, 2000
Minister of Home Affairs
Director of the National Public Safety Commission
Kosuke Hori R October 5, 1999 - July 4, 2000
Chief Cabinet Secretary
Director of the Okinawa Development Agency
Mikio Aoki C October 5, 1999 - July 4, 2000
Chairman of the Financial Reconstruction Commission Michio Ochi R October 5, 1999 - February 25, 2000
Sadakazu Tanigaki R February 25, 2000 - July 4, 2000
Director of the Management and Coordination Agency Kunihiro Tsuzuki C October 5, 1999 - December 5, 2000
Director of the Japan Defense Agency Tsutomu Kawara R October 5, 1999 - July 4, 2000
Director of the Economic Planning Agency Taichi Sakaiya - July 30, 1998 - December 5, 2000
Director of the Environment Agency Kayoko Shimizu C October 5, 1999 - July 4, 2000
Deputy Secretaries
Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary (Political Affairs - House of Representatives) Fukushiro Nukaga R October 5, 1999 - July 4, 2000
Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary (Political Affairs - House of Councillors) Soichiro Matsutani C October 5, 1999 - July 4, 2000
Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary (Bureaucrat) Teijiro Furukawa - February 24, 1995 - September 22, 2003

ChangesEdit

  • February 25, 2000 - Chairman of the Financial Reconstruction Commission Michio Ochi resigned following controversial comments he made related to regulation and inspection of banks. He was replaced by Sadakazu Tanigaki.[13]
  • April 1, 2000 - Coalition negotiations between the Liberal Party and the LDP broke down leading to the party pulling out of the coalition. This caused a split, with some Liberals wishing to remain in government.[14]
  • April 2, 2000 - Prime Minister Obuchi suffered a debilitating stroke and fell into a coma. Chief Cabinet Secretary Mikio Aoki assumed his duties as Acting Prime Minister until April 5 when LDP Secretary-general Yoshiro Mori was appointed as replacement Prime Minister.[15] Obuchi died on May 14.[16]
  • April 3, 2000 - The dissident Liberals launched the New Conservative Party under the leadership of Chikage Oogi, and remained in government under that banner, including Transport Minister Toshihiro Nikai.[17]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Obuchi's top 20". BBC News. 30 July 1998. Archived from the original on 28 February 2003. Retrieved 9 December 2016.CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  2. ^ "Obituary: Keizo Obuchi". BBC News. 14 May 2000. Archived from the original on 16 May 2016. Retrieved 9 December 2016.CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  3. ^ "Trends in Japan". OBUCHI NAMES CABINET. Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 9 December 2016.CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  4. ^ "Obuchi names new minister". Irish Times. 15 January 1999. Archived from the original on 9 December 2016. Retrieved 9 December 2016.CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  5. ^ "Trends in Japan". OBUCHI LAUNCHES NEW CABINET. Archived from the original on 29 September 2014. Retrieved 9 December 2016.CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  6. ^ Maeda, Toshi (17 June 2000). "Ogi's New Conservatives aim to lay Japan's 'moral ground'". The Japan Times. Archived from the original on 17 April 2014. Retrieved 9 December 2016.CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  7. ^ Efron, Sonni (3 April 2000). "Japan's Premier Suffers a Stroke; Deputy Steps In". LA Times. Archived from the original on 4 December 2015. Retrieved 9 December 2016.CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  8. ^ Schmetzer, Uli (4 April 2000). "Reins Of Government Shift In Japan". Chicago Tribune. Archived from the original on 9 December 2016. Retrieved 9 December 2016.CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  9. ^ Reitman, Valerie (14 April 2000). "Obuchi Coma Exposes Japan's Succession Flaw". LA Times. Archived from the original on 9 December 2016. Retrieved 9 December 2016.CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  10. ^ Eur (2002). The Far East and Australasia 2003. Psychology Press. p. 588.
  11. ^ "Corruption Scandal Leads Defense Chief To Resign". Orlando Sentinel. 21 November 1998. Archived from the original on 9 December 2016. Retrieved 9 December 2016.CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  12. ^ "Japanese Minister Resigns". Associated Press. 8 March 1999. Archived from the original on 5 March 2016. Retrieved 9 December 2016.CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  13. ^ "Bank watchdog forced to resign". BBC News. 25 February 2000. Archived from the original on 9 December 2016. Retrieved 9 December 2016.
  14. ^ Maeda, Toshi (17 June 2000). "Ogi's New Conservatives aim to lay Japan's 'moral ground'". The Japan Times. Archived from the original on 17 April 2014. Retrieved 9 December 2016.CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  15. ^ "Japanese PM falls into coma after stroke". The Independent. 2 April 2000. Archived from the original on 9 December 2016. Retrieved 9 December 2016.CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  16. ^ Sims, Calvin (15 May 2000). "Keizo Obuchi, Premier Who Brought Stability as Japan's Economy Faltered, Dies at 62". New York Times. Archived from the original on 19 November 2016. Retrieved 9 December 2016.CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  17. ^ Maeda, Toshi (17 June 2000). "Ogi's New Conservatives aim to lay Japan's 'moral ground'". The Japan Times. Archived from the original on 17 April 2014. Retrieved 9 December 2016.CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)

External linksEdit

Lists of Ministers at the Kantei: