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Toshiki Kaifu (海部 俊樹, Kaifu Toshiki, born 2 January 1931) is a Japanese politician who was the 76th and 77th Prime Minister of Japan from 1989 to 1991.[1]

Toshiki Kaifu
海部 俊樹
Toshiki Kaifu cropped 1 Toshiki Kaifu 19890810.jpg
Official photograph
48th Prime Minister of Japan
In office
10 August 1989 – 5 November 1991
Preceded bySōsuke Uno
Succeeded byKiichi Miyazawa
Minister of Finance
In office
14 October 1991 – 5 November 1991
Preceded byRyutaro Hashimoto
Succeeded byTsutomu Hata
Minister of Education
In office
28 December 1985 – 22 July 1986
Prime MinisterYasuhiro Nakasone
Preceded byHikaru Matsunaga
Succeeded byMasayuki Fujio
In office
24 December 1976 – 28 November 1977
Prime MinisterTakeo Fukuda
Preceded byMichio Nagai
Succeeded byShigetami Sunada
Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary
In office
9 December 1974 – 15 September 1976
Prime MinisterTakeo Miki
Preceded bySeiroku Kajiyama
Succeeded byHyosuke Kujiraoka
Personal details
Born (1931-01-02) 2 January 1931 (age 88)
Nagoya, Japan
Political partyLiberal Democratic Party
Other political
Liberal Democratic Party (1960–1994)
New Frontier Party (1994–1998)
"Assembly of Independents" (1998)
Liberal Party (1998–2000)
Conservative Party (2000–2002)
New Conservative Party
Alma materChuo University
Waseda University


Early life and educationEdit

Kaifu was born in Nagoya City, Aichi Prefecture, on 2 January 1931. He was educated at Chuo University and Waseda University.


with leaders of the G7 (at the 17th G7 summit on 15 July 1991)

A member of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), Kaifu ran successfully for the 1960 Japanese general election and took office as the youngest member of the National Diet.[2] He served for sixteen terms, totaling 49 years. Kaifu was education minister before rising to lead the party after the resignations of Takeshita Noboru and Sōsuke Uno.[3] Facing Yoshiro Hayashi and Shintaro Ishihara,[4] Kaifu was elected on the platform of clean leadership.[5][6] He became the 76th Prime Minister of Japan in August 1989.[7]

On 10 August 1991, Kaifu became the first leader of a major country to make an official visit to China and break China's diplomatic isolation after the Tiananmen Square Incident of June 4, 1989.[8] Kaifu ended Japan's participation in economic sanctions against China and offered $949.9 million in loans and an additional $1.5 million in emergency aid following flood damage in southern China in June and July.[9]

Throughout his two Cabinets, Kaifu's faction was too small to push through the reforms he sought, and the continuing repercussions of the Sagawa Express scandal caused problems. He resigned in November 1991 and was replaced by Kiichi Miyazawa.

In 1994, he left the LDP to become head of the newly founded New Frontier Party.[10][11] He supported Ichirō Ozawa's party until he returned to LDP in 2003.[12] He was defeated in the election of 2009 by DPJ candidate Mitsunori Okamoto,[13] which witnessed the end of almost uninterrupted LDP dominance since 1955.[14] At the time of his defeat, he was the longest-serving member of the lower house of the Diet, and he was also the first former prime minister to be defeated at a re-election since 1963.[15]


From the corresponding article in the Japanese Wikipedia

  • Grand Cordon of the Order of the Paulownia Flowers (July 2011)

In popular cultureEdit

Kaifu is one of several world leaders depicted on the cover of Megadeth's 1990 album Rust in Peace.


  1. ^ "Toshiki Kaifu". Inter Press Service. Retrieved 7 January 2013.
  2. ^ Wiseman, Steven R. (9 August 1989). "Japan's Troubled Successor". New York Times. Retrieved 17 April 2019.
  3. ^ Yates, Ronald E. (9 August 1989). "New prime minster elected in Japan". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 17 April 2019.
  4. ^ Jameson, Sam (5 August 1989). "2 More Join Race for Japanese Premier : Ex-Ministers of Transportation, Health Also Seek to Succeed Uno". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 17 April 2019.
  5. ^ "Japanese official quits over affair". New York Times. Associated Press. 25 August 1989. Retrieved 17 April 2019.
  6. ^ Hiatt, Fred (3 March 1990). "Japan's Kaifu faces new hints of scandal". Washington Post.
  7. ^ Pringsheim, Klaus H. (1991). "The Political Ordeal of Toshiki Kaifu (1990–1991)". American Foreign Policy Newsletter. 14 (3). doi:10.1080/07383169.1991.10392623.
  8. ^ "Japanese Prime Minister Meets With China's Communist Leader". Associated Press. 12 August 1991. Retrieved 17 April 2019.
  9. ^ "Prime Minister Toshiki Kaifu departs Saturday for Beijing to..." UPI. Retrieved 22 October 2018.
  10. ^ "New party taps". Sun Sentinel. 9 December 1994. Retrieved 17 April 2019.
  11. ^ "Ex-premier to head new Japanese party". Washington Post. 8 December 1994. Retrieved 17 April 2019.
  12. ^ Dobson, Hugo; Rose, Caroline (2019). "The Afterlives of Post-War Japanese Prime Ministers". Journal of Contemporary Asia. 49 (1): 127–150. doi:10.1080/00472336.2018.1460389.
  13. ^ Murakami, Mutsuko (1 September 2009). "Untested New Regime Raises Fresh Hopes". Inter Press Service. Retrieved 17 April 2019.
  14. ^ Maeda, Ko (September – October 2010). "Factors behind the Historic Defeat of Japan's Liberal Democratic Party in 2009". Asian Survey. 50 (5): 888–907. doi:10.1525/as.2010.50.5.888.
  15. ^ "Several LDP bigwigs sent down to defeat". Japan Times. Kyodo News. 31 August 2009. Retrieved 17 April 2019.
Party political offices
Preceded by
Sosuke Uno
Director of Youth Division, Liberal Democratic Party
Succeeded by
Takasaburo Naito
Preceded by
Takasaburo Naito
Director of Youth Division, Liberal Democratic Party
Succeeded by
Takeo Nishioka
Preceded by
Sosuke Uno
Chair of Diet Affairs Committee, Liberal Democratic Party
Succeeded by
Shintaro Abe
Preceded by
Sosuke Uno
President of the Liberal Democratic Party
Succeeded by
Kiichi Miyazawa
New title Leader of the New Frontier Party
Succeeded by
Ichiro Ozawa
Political offices
Preceded by
Seiroku Kajiyama
Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary
Succeeded by
Hyosuke Kujiraoka
Preceded by
Michio Nagai
Minister of Education
Succeeded by
Shigetami Sunada
Preceded by
Hikaru Matsunaga
Minister of Education
Succeeded by
Masayuki Fujio
Preceded by
Sōsuke Uno
Prime Minister of Japan
Succeeded by
Kiichi Miyazawa
Preceded by
Ryutaro Hashimoto
Minister of Finance
Succeeded by
Tsutomu Hata
Honorary titles
Preceded by
Kazuo Tanikawa
Youngest member of the House of Representatives
Succeeded by
Ryutaro Hashimoto