Yoshihiko Noda (野田 佳彦, Noda Yoshihiko, born 20 May 1957) is a
Japanese politician who was
Prime Minister of Japan
Prime Minister of Japan from 2011 to 2012.
He is a member of the Democratic Party, and a member of the House of
Representatives (lower house) in the Diet (national legislature). He
was named to succeed
Naoto Kan as a result of a runoff vote against
Banri Kaieda in his party, and was formally appointed by the
Emperor on 2 September 2011.
Following a severe loss for the DPJ in the December 2012 general
election, Noda conceded defeat and announced his resignation as party
leader. He was succeeded by
Shinzō Abe as Prime Minister on 26
1 Early life
2 Diet career
3 Prime Minister
3.1 Nuclear policy
3.2 Trans-Pacific Partnership
3.3 Senkaku Islands
3.4 Consumption tax increase
4 2012 general election
5 Personal life
6 See also
8 External links
Noda was born in
Funabashi, Chiba on 20 May 1957, the son of a
paratrooper in the
Japan Self-Defense Forces. Unlike many prominent
Japanese politicians, Noda has no family connections to Nagatachō.
His parents were too poor to pay for a wedding reception.
Noda graduated from Chiba Prefectural Funabashi Senior High School in
1975. He graduated from
Waseda University with the B.A. degree in
Political Science in 1980 and was later accepted into the prestigious
Matsushita Institute. This institution was founded by Kōnosuke
Matsushita (the founder of Panasonic) to groom future civic leaders of
Japan. While attending the Matsushita Institute, Noda read household
gas meters as a part-time job in his native Chiba Prefecture,
partially in order to get to know his future constituents better in
preparation for a run for office. He was first elected to the
Chiba Prefecture in 1987 at the age of 29.
Noda with Singapore Finance Minister
Tharman Shanmugaratnam and U.S.
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner
In 1993, he was elected to the Diet for first time representing
Chiba's Lower House District #4 as a member of the now-defunct Japan
New Party. He later joined the DPJ and served as its Diet affairs
chief as well as head of the party's public relations office.
In October 2005, Noda criticized Prime Minister Jun'ichirō Koizumi
for his position on Japanese class A war criminals as "war criminals".
However, Noda supported Koizumi's visit to Yasukuni Shrine.
Noda acted as senior vice finance minister when the DPJ won control of
the Diet in September 2009, and was appointed as Minister of Finance
by Prime Minister
Naoto Kan in June 2010. He was known as a reformist
and had led a DPJ intraparty group critical of ex-DPJ powerbroker
Ichirō Ozawa. Upon assuming the post of finance minister, Noda, a
fiscal conservative, expressed his determination to slash Japan's
deficit and rein in gross public debt. In January 2011, for the first
time in six years, the finance ministry intervened in the foreign
exchange market and spent 2.13 trillion yen to purchase dollars in
order to rein in the yen’s spiraling appreciation.
Poster in Toyonaka, Osaka
Noda at the 2010
APEC Finance Summit
Russian Prime Minister
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev
After Naoto Kan's resignation in August 2011, Noda stood as a
candidate in the party election to replace him. He won a runoff
Banri Kaieda in the leadership election, making him the
presumptive prime minister. He inherited the challenge of rebuilding
from the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami.
During the party caucus making the leadership decision, Noda made a
15-minute speech in which he summarized his political career by
comparing himself to dojo loach, a kind of bottom-feeding fish.
Paraphrasing a poem by Mitsuo Aida, he said, "I'll never be a goldfish
in a scarlet robe, but like a loach in muddy waters. I'll work hard
for the people, to move politics forward." The "loach speech" was
popular among his colleagues and cemented his political reputation at
the start of his term.
Noda was said to have close relations with the United States, and
stressed the importance of the US-
Japan security alliance in an August
2011 speech. On 15 August 2011 —the anniversary of the Surrender
Japan in World War II, he said that Japan's class A war criminals
convicted by the Allies were not legally war criminals under his
view. As prime minister he stated that his position on this issue
would follow the standard set by previous administrations, and that he
did not wish to alter Japan's close relationship with
In his first speech as Prime Minister on 2 September 2011, Noda
confirmed that the Japanese government would continue to phase out
nuclear power, by not building new nuclear power plants nor extending
the life spans of outdated ones. In May, 2012, nuclear power plants
which were sitting idle in the wake of the Fukushima disaster were
restarted in order to help Japan's immediate demands for energy,
despite protests including hundreds of people.
After becoming Prime Minister, one of Noda's most important
initiatives was pursuing the entry of
Japan into the negotiations for
the Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership, which he announced
on 11 November 2011. This proved controversial and was widely
discussed in Japanese society.
Tokyo Metropolitan Government
Tokyo Metropolitan Government under Governor Shintaro Ishihara
sought to buy the Senkaku Islands, which are claimed by
Taiwan. Ishihara wished to build facilities on the islands to more
obviously claim them as Japanese territory, a move which the national
government under Noda regarded as likely to exacerbate tensions with
China. On 27 April 2012 the Tokyo government began raising funds from
the public to purchase the islands. and by September 2012 1.4
billion yen ($17.8 million) had been raised.
On 24 August, Noda went on live television and vowed to appeal to the
international community to support Japan’s claims to sovereignty
over islands at the center of separate disputes with South
China. On 11 September, the Japanese government nationalized its
control over Minami-kojima, Kita-kojima, and Uotsuri islands by
purchasing them from the Kurihara family for ¥2.05 billion.
China's Foreign Ministry objected saying Beijing would not "sit back
and watch its territorial sovereignty violated."
Consumption tax increase
Another major priority of Noda's was his effort to increase Japan's
consumption tax from 5% to 10%. During this struggle Noda said that he
"staked his political life" on the passage of the law. The bill
passed through the lower house of the diet on 26 June 2012, and
passed the upper house on 10 August 2012. On 10 August 2012, Noda
survived a no-confidence vote after proposing a five-percent increase
in the sales tax. During negotiations for the tax, Noda promised
to call an early election "soon". Afterwards, he stated that he
had planned to quit as a lawmaker if he had been unable to pass the
consumption tax increase.
Noda received praise for passing the consumption tax hike despite
intense opposition, but was also criticized for bringing the DPJ
closer in substance to its rival LDP, rather than keeping the campaign
promises by which it defeated the LDP in 2009. One commentator called
him "the best prime minister the LDP never had."
2012 general election
Main article: Japanese general election, 2012
On 21 September 2012, Noda won the DPJ's leadership bi-annual
election by 818 points out of 1,231. He then said: "I would like
to beef up our teamwork so that we can shift the DPJ once again to
make it a fighting force that can serve Japan. [I promise to] sweat
with all of you to make a vigorous
Japan together. The real reform
Japan needs is decisive politics when we face issues that need to be
decided." His result was seen as more certain after Environment
Goshi Hosono stepped back from standing in the election. He
defeated former agriculture ministers
Michihiko Kano and Hirotaka
Akamatsu, as well as former internal affairs minister Kazuhiro
On 14 November 2012, Noda stated that the diet would be dissolved on
16 November 2012, and the election would be held on 16 December 2012.
Given the DPJ's poor figures in the polls, many members of the DPJ
were opposed to this, including General Secretary Azuma Koshiishi,
and there was talk among some DPJ members of trying to oust Noda
before the next election.
The DPJ managed to narrow its polling gap with the LDP prior to the
start of the election campaign in December, raising hopes that the DPJ
could prevent the LDP from obtaining an outright majority and force a
coalition government to be formed. In the wake of the brutal
battle surrounding the consumption tax increase, Noda revived the
Trans-Pacific Partnership as a campaign issue, making market
liberalization the focal point of his campaign strategy.
In the election, held on 16 December, the LDP enjoyed a resounding
victory under the leadership of Shinzō Abe, winning an outright
majority while the DPJ lost around three-fourths of its seats. Noda
immediately announced his resignation as president of the DPJ in order
to take responsibility for the defeat.
Noda has been married to his wife Hitomi since 1992 and has two
sons. He has a black belt in judo. His favorite food and drink
are ramen and sake. He wrote a book entitled Enemy of the DPJ:
Government Change Has a Good Cause.
In an interview with
The Washington Post
The Washington Post Noda said he loved watching
movies and is a fan of Meryl Streep, who recently won an Academy Award
for her portrayal of the former British prime minister Margaret
Thatcher in The Iron Lady. The movie follows Thatcher's life and
career as she pushed through a series of economic and administrative
reforms despite opposition from her countrymen. Noda also said one of
his favorite movies is the 1939 film Mr. Smith Goes to Washington,
which tells the story of a U.S. senator who single-handedly fights
against political corruption.
Noda is a fan of professional wrestling and has stated that Kenta
Kobashi is his favorite wrestler. On 11 May 2013, Noda attended
Kobashi's retirement event, Final Burning in Budokan, in Tokyo's
^ a b
Yoshihiko Noda wins
Japan leadership race, BBC, 29 August 2011.
^ "Japan's Shinzo Abe unveils cabinet after voted in as PM". BBC. 26
December 2012. Retrieved 8 January 2013.
^ "Profile: Yoshihiko Noda, a fiscal hawk flies into Japan's top
post". People's Daily. 29 August 2011. Retrieved 29 August 2011.
^ Sakamaki, Sachiko; Ujikane, Keiko (29 August 2011). "Japan's Noda
Faces Short Honeymoon". Bloomberg L.P. Retrieved 29 August 2011.
^ Hongo, Jun, "Noda a grappler, wears many hats",
Japan Times, 31
August 2011, p. 3.
^ a b c Hayashi, Yuka (2011-08-29). "Japan's Noda: Low-Key on Domestic
Issues, Controversial Abroad". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved
^ a b c
Japan Times, "Cabinet Profiles: Kan's lineup", 9 June 2010, p.
Mainichi.jp (in Japanese). Mainichi Shimbun. 18 August 2011. Archived
from the original on 16 November 2011. Retrieved 29 August 2011.
^ "Noda declares DPJ election candidacy, calls for fiscal discipline".
Mainichi Newspapers Co. Ltd. 27 August 2011. Retrieved 28 August
^ Johnston, Eric, "Contenders' backgrounds",
Japan Times, 28 August
2011, p. 2.
Yoshihiko Noda elected Japan's new PM". Indiavision news. 29 August
^ "Noda's likening himself to loach in speech helped endear him to
Japan Times. 2 September 2011. Retrieved 9 January 2014.
^ Doubts already emerging over Japan's new PMTelevision New Zealand
TVNZ(29 August 2011) Retrieved on 26 June 2012. Archived 14 October
2012 at the Wayback Machine.
Korea blasts Noda's war criminal remarks". The
Japan Times. 17
August 2011. Retrieved 29 August 2011.
^ Ａ級戦犯」発言で軌道修正＝野田新代表. jiji (in
Japanese). Jiji Press. 30 August 2011. Retrieved 31 August 2011.
^ Tabuchi, Hiroko (2 September 2011). "Japan's New Prime Minister Vows
Gradual Nuclear Phaseout". The New York Times. Retrieved 2 September
^ Gerhardt, Tina (22 July 2012). "Japan's People Say NO to Nuclear
^ Wallace, Rick (12 November 2011). "Trade boost for Australia as
Japan agrees to free-trade negotiations". The Australian. Retrieved 24
Japan Times Ishihara seeking to buy
Senkaku Islands 18 April 2012
Japan Times Metro government raising funds in quest to purchase
Senkaku Islands 28 April 2012
^ Asahi Shimbun Governor of Tokyo: Develop Senkakus, and I'll halt
purchase 1 September 2012 Archived 23 June 2013 at the Wayback
Japan Places Pressure on South
Korea Amid Islets Dispute". The New
York Times. 24 August 2012. Retrieved 24 August 2012.
^ Kyodo News, "Senkaku purchase bid made official",
Japan Times, 11
September 2012, p. 2
^ NHK World, "Senkaku Isles Nationalized", 11 September 2012
Japan says it will purchase disputed islands from private owner,
angering China". Washington Post. AP. 10 September 2012. Retrieved 10
Japan Times Noda stakes his administration, political life on hiking
sales tax 25 March 2012
Japan Times Lower House passes bill to double sales tax 27 June 2012
Japan Times Upper House passes bill to hike sales levy 11 August
^ Westlake, Adam (10 August 2012). "Prime Minister Noda survives
opponents' no-confidence vote". The
Japan Daily Press. Retrieved 20
^ Harlan, Chico (18 August 2012). "In Japan, new taxes levy political
toll on Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda". The Washington Post. Retrieved
20 August 2012.
Daily Yomiuri Noda intended to quit if tax bills had failed 13
^ a b Janowski, Tomasz (4 December 2012). "Japan's PM Noda resilient,
resolute as election loss looms". Reuters. Retrieved 9 January
^ "JAPAN'S NODA TO REMAIN PM AFTER RULING PARTY VOTE". Associated
Press. Retrieved 21 September 2012.
^ "Japan's PM re-elected ruling party leader". Al Jazeera. September
2009. Retrieved 4 October 2012.
^ "Noda rewards political allies in Cabinet reshuffle". The Asahi
Shimbun. 1 October 2012. Retrieved 4 October 2012.
Daily Yomiuri Noda sets dissolution for 16 November 2012
Daily Yomiuri Disgruntled DPJ members aim to unseat PM / Dissent
grows as lawmakers voice frustration, helplessness at Standing
Officers Council meeting 15 November 2012
^ Solis, Mireya (13 November 2012). "Can the TPP Save Prime Minister
Noda's Political Career?". Brookings Institution. Retrieved 9 January
^ "Abe's LDP dominates election; Noda resigns after DPJ humiliation".
The Asahi Shimbun. 17 December 2012. Retrieved 9 January 2014.
^ Profile Archived 2 May 2012 at the Wayback Machine. on his official
^ "Noda reveals admiration for 'Iron Lady' Thatcher". Asia One. 21
April 2012. Retrieved 28 June 2015.
^ Meltzer, Dave (May 21, 2013). "May 21 2013 Wrestling Observer
Kenta Kobashi retirement and career history, Budokan Hall
history, WWE annual directory, tons more, second issue of the week".
Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Campbell, California: 3.
Wikinews has related news:
Yoshihiko Noda appointed Prime Minister of
House of Representatives of Japan
Member of the House of Representatives for
Chiba 1st district (multi-member)
Served alongside: Masayuki Okajima, Kazuo Torii, Hideo Usui, Kazuo
Member of the House of Representatives for
Chiba 4th district
Party political offices
Chief of Diet Affairs of the Democratic Party
Chief of Diet Affairs of the Democratic Party
President of the Democratic Party
Senior Vice Minister of Finance
Served alongside: Naoki Minezaki
Minister of Finance
Prime Minister of Japan
Finance Ministers of Japan
Minister of Finance (大蔵卿, Ōkura-kyō)
Daijōkan system of the Meiji Government
Minister of Finance (大蔵大臣, Ōkura Daijin)
under the Constitution of the Empire of Japan
Minister of Finance (大蔵大臣, Ōkura Daijin)
under the Constitution of Japan
Minister of Finance (財務大臣, Zaimu Daijin)
Italics denote acting Ministers of Finance
Prime Ministers of
Empire of Japan, 1868–1947
Meiji Period, 1868–1912
Taishō Period, 1912–26
Shōwa Period, 1926–47
State of Japan, 1947–present
Shōwa Period, 1947–89
Heisei Period, 1989–
Italics denote acting Prime Ministers
ISNI: 0000 0000 7176