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Tomomi Inada (稲田 朋美, Inada Tomomi, born 20 February 1959) is a Japanese lawyer and politician serving as a member of the Japanese House of Representatives, representing the 1st Fukui Prefecture since September 2005. She previously served as the 14th Japanese Minister of Defense from August 2016 to July 2017, resigning in response to a cover up scandal within the Japanese Ministry of Defense. She spent time as the Chairwoman of the Policy Research Council of the Liberal Democratic Party in her fourth term as a member of the House of Representatives in the Diet (national legislature). She is a native of Fukui Prefecture.

Tomomi Inada
稲田 朋美
Tomomi Inada 2017.jpg
Minister of Defense
In office
3 August 2016 – 28 July 2017
Prime MinisterShinzō Abe
Preceded byGen Nakatani
Succeeded byFumio Kishida (Acting)
Minister of Administrative Reform
In office
26 December 2012 – 3 September 2014
Prime MinisterShinzō Abe
Preceded byKatsuya Okada
Succeeded byHaruko Arimura
Minister in charge of Civil Service Reform
In office
26 December 2012 – 3 September 2014
Prime MinisterShinzō Abe
Preceded byKatsuya Okada
Succeeded byHaruko Arimura
Minister in charge of the Cool Japan Strategy
In office
26 December 2012 – 3 September 2014
Prime MinisterShinzō Abe
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded byShunichi Yamaguchi
Minister in charge of the Challenge Again Initiative
In office
26 December 2012 – 3 September 2014
Prime MinisterShinzō Abe
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded byShunichi Yamaguchi
Minister of State for Regulatory Reform
In office
26 December 2012 – 3 September 2014
Prime MinisterShinzō Abe
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded byHaruko Arimura[1]
Member of the House of Representatives
from the 1st Fukui Prefecture
Assumed office
12 September 2005
Preceded byIsao Matsumiya
Majority78,969 (50.00%)
Personal details
Tomomi Tsubakihara

(1959-02-20) 20 February 1959 (age 60)
Echizen, Fukui, Japan
Political partyLiberal Democratic Party
Spouse(s)Ryuji Inada (1989–present)
Alma materWaseda University
Net worth¥181million Yen ($1.6million USD)[2]
WebsiteOfficial website


Law careerEdit

After graduating Waseda University in 1981, Inada became a lawyer in 1985. She first belonged to the Osaka bar association and has belonged to the Fukui bar association since 2008. She stood for the government in a lawsuit relating to Yasukuni Shrine, and served as an attorney for the plaintiff concerning the "Contest to kill 100 people using a sword" that occurred during the Second Sino-Japanese War, as well as the commanders who fought in the Battle of Okinawa and a bereaved family suing Kenzaburō Ōe and Iwanami Shoten for their defamation of character towards the commanders. When she served as an attorney for the families of the plaintiff concerning the "Contest to kill 100 people using a sword" that occurred during the Second Sino-Japanese War, she tried to win her points relative to the convicted war criminals in court. But her side lost in court, because the judge at Supreme Court of Japan admitted some testimonies. After the failure of the trial, she hoped to become a politician.[3]

Political careerEdit

Japanese House of RepresentativesEdit

The House of Representatives (衆議院, Shūgiin) is the lower house of the National Diet of Japan.


The Diet can be dissolved by the Prime Minister at will, preceding an election. The most recent was by Shinzō Abe on November 21, 2014.


On 15 August 2005, after being "spotted ... when she addressed a ruling-party audience on Japan’s war crimes in 2005",[4] Inada was nominated as an official candidate of the LDP by Shinzō Abe (later the Prime Minister). Inada ran in the general election held on 11 September 2005 and was elected to the House of Representatives for the first time.


The 45th Japanese general election was held on 30 August 2009. Inada was re-elected to the House of Representatives with 50.0% of the vote. Inada's main opponent, DPJ candidate Ryūzō Sasaki, obtained 45.6% of the popular vote.


The 46th Japanese general election was held on 16 December 2012. Inada's primary opponent was JRP candidate Kōji Suzuki. Inada won with 52.6% of the popular vote. Kōji Suzuki got 22.9% of the vote.


The 47th Japanese general election was held on 14 December 2014. Inada was re-elected to the Diet with 64.8% of the vote. Inada's main opponent, JIP candidate Kōji Suzuki, obtained 26.5% of the popular vote.


In the Diet, she served as a member of the judicial committee, and the special committee for the establishment of political morals and the amendment of the Public Officers Election Act. From January 2008 to December 2008, she was also a member of the committee for General Affairs. In 2012 she was appointed as Minister of State for Regulatory Reform in the new Abe Cabinet. She held this post until September 2014.

Inada is highly esteemed by Abe because of her political and historical beliefs, which are close to Abe's. Inada believes in the spirits of Shinto. Abe appointed her Chairperson of the LDP Policy Research Council in September 2014, even though the position is usually reserved for party members with longer political careers.

Minister of Defense (2016–2017)Edit


Despite having no military experience, Inada was named Defense Minister by Prime Minister Abe on August 3, 2016.[4] Inada is the first Defense Minister since Akinori Eto to have no record of prior military service. Inada is also the first female defense minister since Yuriko Koike, and the second female Defense Minister in Japanese History.


On September 15, 2016, one month after becoming Defense Minister, Inada met with American Secretary of Defense Ash Carter in Washington, D.C. After the meeting, Inada stated that the Japanese military would increase its activity in the South China Sea and increase the number of military drills with the United States, which represented a significant change in Japanese policy regarding the South China Sea dispute.[5]

In December 2016, immediately after Abe and Inada met U.S. President Barack Obama in Hawaii and Abe expressed 'everlasting condolences' for the casualties of the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor in Hawaii, Inada made her first visit to the Yasukuni Shrine since becoming defense minister.[6] Inada's visit followed by a day a visit to the shrine by Minister for reconstruction Masahiro Imamura. Both visits prompted protests from China and South Korea and created calls for Japan to express similarly prominent condolences to its Asian neighbors.[6][7]

On February 4, 2017, Inada met with the new United States Secretary of Defense James Mattis in Tokyo, Japan. In the meeting, they discussed North Korea, as well as the Territorial disputes in the South China Sea. Mattis also reaffirmed the United States's commitment to the Mutual Defense of Japan.[8]

On Monday, May 1, 2017, Inada ordered the dispatch of the Maritime Self-Defense Force Helicopter Carrier Izumo to protect a U.S Navy supply vessel in the Pacific. This marks the first time the Japanese Navy has been used to defend allied vessels since the 2016 amendment to the Japanese Constitution.[9]

Before the Tokyo assembly election, on June 27, 2017, Inada stated that a particular candidate (of the Liberal Democratic Party) was supported by the Defense Ministry, the Self-Defense Forces, and the defense minister.[10] This remark was controversial for three reasons: first, it risked violating Article 15 of the Constitution; second, the Public Offices Election law also bans public servants from taking advantage of their position while campaigning in an election; and third, Article 61 of the Self-Defense Forces Law explicitly forbids personnel in the organization from engaging in political activity, with the exception of voting. This statement prompted heavy criticism and forced Abe to apologize, without going as far as following Renho's suggestion to sack her.[10]


Inada resigned in late July 2017 over claims that she helped to cover up internal records that exposed the danger Japanese peacekeepers faced in South Sudan.[11] However, it is unclear whether she was personally involved in the cover-up. This much is certain: she was told by Defense Ministry officials that the GSDF's daily logs had been deleted, which is what she relayed to the public. The Ministry of Defense later discovered digital copies of the documents at the SDF's Joint Staff and made public parts of the records on February 7, 2017 based on a request under the Information Disclosure Law. Fuji News Network then reported that it had obtained a two-page memo hand-written by an anonymous senior Defense Ministry official stating that Inada knew about the existence of the logs, yet decided to stick with her previous statement that they had been deleted. The memo's allegation that Inada knew about the logs could not be verified despite a later investigation into the matter.

Political beliefs and positionsEdit


Following her historical and political beliefs, Inada is affiliated with the openly revisionist lobby Nippon Kaigi.[12][13] These beliefs are sometimes characterized as "right wing" though Inada reportedly rejects that phrase,[14] and "conservative".[4]

Yasukuni ShrineEdit

Yasukuni Shrine, a Japanese Shinto shrine to war dead who served the Emperor and Japan during wars from 1867–1951, has been controversial, due to the enshrinement of International Military Tribunal for the Far East war criminals. But, Japanese nationalists have been paying respect at the shrine. In 2006, Inada said, "Any Japanese national, who criticizes Japanese Prime Minister's visit for paying respect at Yasukuni Shrine, could be the person who cares nothing for the souls of dead Japanese soldiers at the war and such a Japanese national could be deprived of the right to comment on anything about Moral/Upbringing" and "Yasukuni Shirine is not the place for the oath of peace, but the place for the oath to fight desperately against the aliens at the risk of Japan, following the honored spirits of the dead soldiers at Yasukuni Shrine."[15]

Inada questioned why the 2007 film Yasukuni (produced by Chinese director and some scenes of the movie were politically expressed by Chinese side) received Japanese government funds, and said that such funds should not be given to films with a "political agenda".[16]

Nanking MassacreEdit

Inada was a supporter of right-wing filmmaker Satoru Mizushima's 2007 revisionist film The Truth about Nanjing, which denied that the Nanking Massacre ever occurred.[17] After Takashi Kawamura, Mayor of Nagoya City, made denialist statements about the Nanking Massacre, on 6 March 2012 in Tokyo, at the Simposium[18] to support Kawamura's statement, she opposed to the history class in the Japanese school education, because the teachers, who could be members of Japan Teachers Union and be sympathized with China, teach the pupils about the Nanking Massacre of the Second Sino-Japanese War at the school classes. At that time, she said, "When Japanese Prime Minister definitely denies the Nanking Massacre, such a non-sense school education could end."[19]

US Occupation after WWII and The International Military Tribunal for the Far EastEdit

Inada insisted that The International Military Tribunal for the Far East after World War II, was against the principles of the modern law and the International Military Tribunal for the Far East was only a part of the policy of Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers during the Allied occupation (mainly United States' occupation) of Japan after World War II, and she also said that Japan should totally deny the historical viewpoints, which too much emphasized the Japanese military invasion in China, following the decision of The International Military Tribunal for the Far East.[20] In August 2015, Inada expressed her intent to form a committee to verify the authenticity of the tribunal and the views of Japanese history it employed.[21] "Inada has argued that the Tokyo Trials distorted Japan's responsibility for the war", according to the Wall Street Journal in 2016.[4]

National Socialist Japanese Labor PartyEdit

Inada was shown smiling in a picture with Kazunari Yamada, leader of the National Socialist Japanese Labor Party (NSJAP), who has praised Adolf Hitler and the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center.[22] But, after the photo was released by the press, she said publicly that she was unaware of his career. A staff member of Sanae Takaichi, Minister of Internal Affairs, whom she was with at that moment, said that he "was an assistant for an interviewer", and "We had no idea who he was back then, but he requested a snapshot."[23]

Japanese Comfort WomenEdit

Inada was a signatory to "The Facts" advertorial, supported by The Society for the Dissemination of Historical Fact and published in The Washington Post on 14 June 2007. The advertorial asserts that there is no proof of the Imperial Japanese Army's system of Comfort women during the Pacific War.[24] She also helped to launch the LDP Special Mission Committee to Restore the Honor and Trust of Japan, which in 2015 recommended to Prime Minister Abe that Japan counter what it views as false allegations against Japan regarding the Comfort Women issue.[25] When the committee demanded that an American textbook publisher correct its depictions of comfort women that were "at odds with the position of Japan", Inada called these depictions an "infringement upon the human rights of Japanese children living in the United States."[26] "In 2012, ... Inada wrote in a newspaper column that 'there is no need for an apology or compensation' to women who served Japanese soldiers sexually in World War II because she said the Japanese military and government didn’t compel the women to perform such services", the Wall Street Journal reported at the time of Inada's appointment as Defense Minister.[4] On the other hand, in a 2013 press conference, Inada called the Comfort Women system a grievous violation of women's human rights.[27]

South Korean Travel BanEdit

"In one incident in 2011, South Korea barred ... Inada and other Japanese lawmakers with conservative views from entering the country", The Wall Street Journal reported in a review of Inada's career in 2016.[4] South Korea government is designate Inada Persona non grata.

Japanese Involvement in World War IIEdit

In 2015, when Prime Minister Abe prepared the statement on 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, Inada said, "No need to express the word like remorse", "stop continuing to apologize [to China and other Asian countries]", "military invasion is not appropriate word [to express the Japanese action in Asian countries before the end of the war]".[28]

LGBT rightsEdit

In 2015, Inada went against her party's traditional opposition to LGBT rights by setting up a committee within the party to discuss the matter.[29]


Several members of the anti-Korean resident hate speech group Zaitokukai made donations to the political funding organization of Tomomi Inada between 2010 and 2012, which seems to show close ties.[30]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Prime Minister of Japan and His Cabinet Tomomi INADA Retrieved on 6 October 2015
  2. ^ "Japan's new cabinet public assets". Best China News. 17 September 2016. Retrieved 1 May 2017.
  3. ^ "国の名誉守りたい 稲田衆院議員 「百人斬り裁判」を本に (Congressman Ms. Inada published the incidents regarding the court on the "Contest to kill 100 people using a sword")". 福井新聞 (Fukui Shimbun). 47NEWS. 17 May 2007. Archived from the original on 6 August 2014. Retrieved 9 August 2013.
  4. ^ a b c d e f Obe, Mitsuru, "Abe Protégé With Nationalist Views Is Japan's New Defense Minister", Wall Street Journal, August 3, 2016. Retrieved 2016-08-03.
  5. ^ Associated Press (15 September 2016). "Minister: Japan increasing activities in the South China Sea". The Daily Mail. Retrieved 2 May 2017.
  6. ^ a b "Japan defence minister visits Yasukuni war shrine, one day after visiting Pearl Harbour with Abe". South China Morning Post. AFP. 29 December 2016. Retrieved 28 December 2016.
  7. ^ Bruton, F. Brinley, and Eric Baculinao, "Japan Minister's Visit to War Dead Shrine Prompts Anger in China, South Korea",, December 28, 2016. Retrieved 2016-12-28.
  8. ^ Mattis, James; Inada, Tomomi (4 February 2017). "Joint Press Briefing by Secretary Mattis and Minister Inada in Tokyo, Japan". United States Department of Defense. Retrieved 6 June 2017.
  9. ^ "Japan issues 1st order to protect US ships amid N.K. tension". The Mainichi. 1 May 2017. Retrieved 1 May 2017.
  10. ^ a b "Defense chief's gaffe adds to Abe's headaches". Nikkei Asian Review. 29 June 2017. Retrieved 28 July 2017.
  11. ^ "Japanese defence minister to resign over South Sudan cover-up claims". The Guardian. 27 July 2017.
  12. ^ Nippon Kaigi website[full citation needed]
  13. ^ "Pro-Yasukuni parliamentary groups backing up Abe Cabinet" - Japan Press Weekly - 27 May 2007
  14. ^ 文芸春秋 2015年7月 Bungei-Shunju July, 2015: Inada said that Right-wing is not appropriate word for my political beliefs.
  15. ^ Japanese Magazine "Will" Sep. 2006
  16. ^ The Japan Times Confusion reigns after 'Yasukuni' doesn't tell us how to feel 13 April 2008 Retrieved on 21 August 2012
  17. ^ The Japan Times Nanjing Massacre 70th Anniversary – 6 December 2007 Retrieved on 21 August 2012
  18. ^ 「河村発言」支持・「南京虐殺」の虚構を撃つ 緊急国民集会 主催 新しい歴史教科書をつくる会 日時 平成24年3月6日(火)場所 東京・文京シビック小ホール(The symposium on the support of Kawamura's statement and the denial of Nanking Massacre, held by Japanese Society for History Textbook Reform, at Bunkyo Civic Hall in Tokyo, 6 March 2012.)
  19. ^ The statement recorded at youtube, "河村発言支持・南京虐殺の虚構⑫ 稲田朋美衆議院議員 百人切りのウソ".
  20. ^ "【正論】「首相の靖国参拝は安全保障問題/本質見極め矮小化した議論排せ」". Sankei Shimbun. 3 June 2006.
  21. ^ "「東京裁判」検証へ自民が新組織 稲田氏意向". Sankei News. Sankei Shimbun. 15 August 2015. Retrieved 6 October 2015.
  22. ^ "Neo-Nazi photos pose headache for Shinzo Abe" - The Guardian - 9 Sep 2014
  23. ^ "Two of Abe’s new picks deny neo-Nazi links, Japan Times 8/9/2014.
  24. ^ 「朝日・グレンデール訴訟」を支援する会. "the Facts". Retrieved 5 October 2015.
  25. ^ "「慰安婦」「強制労働」政府に国際広報の強化要請へ 自民特命委の提言". Sankei News. 18 July 2015. Retrieved 6 October 2015.
  26. ^ "Depictions of comfort women in American textbooks: Corrections demanded from publisher | Liberal Democratic Party of Japan". Retrieved 6 October 2015.
  27. ^ "橋下氏の慰安婦容認発言に批判続々…稲田行革相「人権侵害」". Sponichi Annex. Sports Nippon Newspapers. 14 May 2013. Archived from the original on 8 June 2013. Retrieved 6 October 2015.
  28. ^ The interview on TV program of BS Fuji TV, on 11 August 2015.
  29. ^ "LGBT:すべての人にチャンスが与えられる社会を" (in Japanese),, 2015-12-11.
  30. ^ Supreme Court dismisses LDP's Inada's defamation suit against the Mainichi, The Mainichi (June 2, 2017).
Political offices
Preceded by
Gen Nakatani
Minister of Defense
Succeeded by
Fumio Kishida