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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 of Japan (DPJ), and a member of the House of Representatives (lower house) in the Diet (national legislature). He was named to succeed Naoto Kan
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
Shinzō Abe
as Prime Minister on 26 December 2012.

CONTENTS

* 1 Early life * 2 Diet career

* 3 Prime Minister

* 3.1 Nuclear policy * 3.2 Trans-Pacific Partnership * 3.3 Senkaku Islands
Senkaku Islands
* 3.4 Consumption tax increase

* 4 2012 general election * 5 Personal life * 6 See also * 7 References * 8 External links

EARLY LIFE

Noda was born in Funabashi , Chiba on 20 May 1957, the son of a paratrooper in the Japan Self-Defense Forces
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
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
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 assembly of Chiba Prefecture
Chiba Prefecture
in 1987 at the age of 29.

DIET CAREER

Noda with Singapore Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam
Tharman Shanmugaratnam
and U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner
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
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
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
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

PRIME MINISTER

Noda at the 2010 APEC
APEC
Finance Summit Noda with Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev
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 vote against 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
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
Japan
security alliance in an August 2011 speech. On 15 August 2011 —the anniversary of the Surrender of Japan
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 China
China
and Korea
Korea
.

NUCLEAR POLICY

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.

TRANS-PACIFIC PARTNERSHIP

After becoming Prime Minister, one of Noda's most important initiatives was pursuing the entry of Japan
Japan
into the negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership
Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership
, which he announced on 11 November 2011. This proved controversial and was widely discussed in Japanese society.

SENKAKU ISLANDS

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government
Tokyo Metropolitan Government
under Governor Shintaro Ishihara sought to buy the Senkaku Islands
Senkaku Islands
, which are claimed by China
China
and 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 Korea
Korea
and 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
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. sweat with all of you to make a vigorous Japan
Japan
together. The real reform Japan
Japan
needs is decisive politics when we face issues that need to be decided." His result was seen as more certain after Environment Minister 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 Haraguchi
Kazuhiro Haraguchi
.

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
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.

PERSONAL LIFE

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
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.

On 11 May 2013, Noda attended the retirement event of professional wrestler Kenta Kobashi , at Budokan Hall in Tokyo. Entering the ring to greet and congratulate Kobashi during his formal retirement ceremony, Noda stayed at ringside and bore witness to Kobashi's final match and in-ring sendoff.

SEE ALSO

* Japan
Japan
portal * Biography portal * Politics portal

REFERENCES

* ^ A B Yoshihiko Noda
Yoshihiko Noda
wins Japan
Japan
leadership race, BBC
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
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 2011-08-29. * ^ A B C Japan
Japan
Times, "Cabinet Profiles: Kan's lineup", 9 June 2010, p. 4. * ^ ポスト菅・身上書:野田佳彦財務相 教育、靖国で保守強調. 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 2011. * ^ Johnston, Eric, "Contenders\' backgrounds", Japan Times
Japan Times
, 28 August 2011, p. 2. * ^ " Yoshihiko Noda
Yoshihiko Noda
elected Japan\'s new PM". Indiavision news. 29 August 2011. * ^ "Noda’s likening himself to loach in speech helped endear him to DPJ". Japan
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
Wayback Machine
. * ^ "S. Korea
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 2011. * ^ Gerhardt, Tina (22 July 2012). "Japan\'s People Say NO to Nuclear Energy". Alternet . * ^ Wallace, Rick (12 November 2011). "Trade boost for Australia as Japan
Japan
agrees to free-trade negotiations". The Australian
The Australian
. Retrieved 24 November 2011. * ^ Japan Times
Japan Times
Ishihara seeking to buy Senkaku Islands
Senkaku Islands
18 April 2012 * ^ Japan Times
Japan Times
Metro government raising funds in quest to purchase Senkaku Islands
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 Machine . * ^ " Japan
Japan
Places Pressure on South Korea
Korea
Amid Islets Dispute". The New York Times. 24 August 2012. Retrieved 24 August 2012. * ^ Kyodo News , "Senkaku purchase bid made official", Japan
Japan
Times , 11 September 2012, p. 2 * ^ NHK World
NHK World
, "Senkaku Isles Nationalized", 11 September 2012 * ^ " Japan
Japan
says it will purchase disputed islands from private owner, angering China". Washington Post. AP. 10 September 2012. Retrieved 10 September 2012. * ^ Japan Times
Japan Times
Noda stakes his administration, political life on hiking sales tax 25 March 2012 * ^ Japan Times
Japan Times
Lower House passes bill to double sales tax 27 June 2012 * ^ Japan Times
Japan Times
Upper House passes bill to hike sales levy 11 August 2012 * ^ Westlake, Adam (10 August 2012). "Prime Minister Noda survives opponents’ no-confidence vote". The Japan
Japan
Daily Press. Retrieved 20 August 2012. * ^ 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
Daily Yomiuri
Noda intended to quit if tax bills had failed 13 November 2012 * ^ A B Janowski, Tomasz (4 December 2012). "Japan\'s PM Noda resilient, resolute as election loss looms". Reuters. Retrieved 9 January 2014. * ^ "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
Daily Yomiuri
Noda sets dissolution for 16 November 2012 * ^ Daily Yomiuri
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 2014. * ^ "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
Wayback Machine
. on his official website (jp). * ^ "Noda reveals admiration for \'Iron Lady\' Thatcher". Asia One. 21 April 2012. Retrieved 28 June 2015.

EXTERNAL LINKS

Wikinews has related news: YOSHIHIKO NODA APPOINTED PRIME MINISTER OF JAPAN

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