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Yōhei Kōno (河野 洋平, Kōno Yōhei, born 15 January 1937 in Hiratsuka, Kanagawa) is a Japanese politician and a former President of the Liberal Democratic Party. He served as Speaker of the House of Representatives from November 2003 until August 2009, when the LDP lost its majority in the 2009 election. Kōno served as speaker for the longest length since the set up of House of Representatives in 1890.[1] He was the president of the Japan Association of Athletics Federations from 1999 to 2013.[2]

Yōhei Kōno
河野 洋平
Yōhei Kōno cropped.jpg
Speaker of the House of Representatives of Japan
In office
19 November 2003 – 21 July 2009
Prime MinisterJunichirō Koizumi
Shinzō Abe
Yasuo Fukuda
Tarō Asō
Preceded byTamisuke Watanuki
Succeeded byTakahiro Yokomichi
President of the Liberal Democratic Party
In office
29 July 1993 – 1 October 1995
Preceded byKiichi Miyazawa
Succeeded byRyutaro Hashimoto
Leader of the Opposition
In office
9 August 1993 – 10 June 1994
Prime MinisterMorihiro Hosokawa
Tsutomu Hata
Preceded bySadao Yamahana
Succeeded byToshiki Kaifu
President of the Japan Association of Athletics Federations
In office
1999–2013
Preceded byHanji Aoki
Succeeded byHiroshi Yokokawa
Personal details
Born (1937-01-15) 15 January 1937 (age 81)
Hiratsuka, Kanagawa, Japan
ChildrenTarō Kōno
Alma materWaseda University

HistoryEdit

Kōno is the eldest son of Ichirō Kōno, a former minister dealing with the Tokyo Olympic Games. Kenzō Kōno, the chairman of the House of Councillors is his younger uncle.

After graduating from Waseda University, Kōno worked with the Marubeni company. In 1967, Kono's political career began due to the death of his father.

Political careerEdit

 
with members of Murayama Reshuffled Cabinet (at the Prime Minister's Official Residence on August 8, 1995)

He was Deputy Prime Minister from 1994 to 1995. He was Minister of Foreign Affairs under Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama and Murayama's successor Yoshirō Mori. He is a member of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP). He was once President of the LDP from 1993 to 1995, and to date is the only LDP leader except for Sadakazu Tanigaki to have never served as Prime Minister of Japan. As he is one of the pro-Chinese members of the LDP, he came under pressure domestically in the spring of 2005 when anti-Japanese movements in China became intense.

Kōno is well known as a controversial figure within the comfort women debate, for the official statement he made in 1993, when he was Chief Cabinet Secretary. In his statement, made after historian Yoshiaki Yoshimi announced he had discovered in the Defense Agency library in Tokyo documentary evidence that the Imperial Japanese Army established and ran "comfort stations", he essentially admitted that the Japanese Imperial Army had been involved, directly and indirectly, in the establishment of comfort facilities, and that coercion had been used in the recruitment and retention of the women. His subsequent call for historical research and education aimed at remembering the issue became the basis for addressing the subject of forced prostitution in school history textbooks.

FootnotesEdit

  1. ^ "Kono's tenure longest as speaker". The Japan Times. 20 November 2008. Retrieved 22 November 2008.
  2. ^ The Successive President and Vice-President and Senior-Managing-Director of JAAF (日本陸連歴代会長・理事長・専務理事) (in Japanese) Japan Association of Athletics Federations. Retrieved 13 June 2012.
House of Representatives of Japan
Preceded by
Tamisuke Watanuki
Speaker of the Japanese House of Representatives
2003–2009
Succeeded by
Takahiro Yokomichi
Political offices
Preceded by
Masahiko Kōmura
Minister of Foreign Affairs of Japan
1999–2001
Succeeded by
Makiko Tanaka
Preceded by
Tsutomu Hata
Deputy Prime Minister of Japan
1994–1995
Succeeded by
Ryutaro Hashimoto
Preceded by
Koji Kakizawa
Minister of Foreign Affairs of Japan
1994–1996
Succeeded by
Yukihiko Ikeda
Preceded by
Koichi Kato
Chief Cabinet Secretary of Japan
1992–1993
Succeeded by
Masayoshi Takemura
Preceded by
Reiichi Takeuchi
Head of the Science and Technology Agency
1985–1986
Succeeded by
Yataro Mitsubayashi
Chairman of the Japanese Atomic Energy Commission
1985–1986
Party political offices
Preceded by
Kiichi Miyazawa
President of the Liberal Democratic Party
1993–1995
Succeeded by
Ryutaro Hashimoto
Preceded by
Seiichi Tagawa
President of the New Liberal Club
1984–1986
Succeeded by
-
Preceded by
-
President of the New Liberal Club
1976–1979
Succeeded by
Seiichi Tagawa
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Hanji Aoki
President of the Japan Association of Athletics Federations
1999–2013
Succeeded by
Hiroshi Yokokawa