Concept

Taku Yamasaki

Résumé
is a Japanese politician who served in the House of Representatives from 1972 to 2003 and from 2005 to 2009. He directed the Director General of the Japan Defense Agency for two months in 1989, and served as Minister of Construction from 1991 to 1992. He was a prominent faction leader in the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) during the late 1990s and early 2000s, and served as its Secretary-General and Vice President under Prime Minister Jun'ichirō Koizumi. Yamasaki was born in Dalian (then part of Manchukuo) during World War II. His family moved to Fukuoka following the end of the war. He lost his vision in one eye while in the third grade. He graduated from Waseda University in 1959 with a degree in commerce, and worked at Bridgestone for five years before entering politics. Yamasaki was elected to the Fukuoka prefectural assembly in 1967, where he was discovered by future Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone. Nakasone persuaded Yamasaki to run in the 1969 general election. Yamasaki was defeated in his first attempt to enter the Diet, but was successful in the 1972 general election. While a Diet member, he served as Minister of Construction, and Director General of the Defense Agency. Yamasaki was an advocate of fiscal stimulus in the late 1990s, as Japan encountered a period of economic stagnation. As head of the LDP Policy Research Council, he advocated investing government-controlled postal savings and insurance funds into the stock market, and an escalation in government spending on telecommunications, environmental and education projects. Yamasaki was implicated in a fundraising scandal in 1997, when an oil wholesaler accused of income tax evasion and fraud testified before a Diet committee that he had given Yamasaki 278 million yen in political donations, most of which was destined for other candidates. He was a member of the "YKK" faction with Kōichi Katō and Jun'ichirō Koizumi, and also led a small faction that bore his name.
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