Takeo Fukuda

Takeo Fukuda

Infobox Prime Minister
name = Takeo Fukuda

birth_date = January 14 1905
birth_place = Takasaki, Gunma, Japan
death_date = July 5, 1995 (age 90)
spouse =
office = 67th Prime Minister of Japan
term_start = December 24 1976
term_end = December 7 1978
monarch = Emperor Showa
predecessor = Takeo Miki
successor = Masayoshi Ohira
party = Liberal Democratic Party
religion =
nihongo|Takeo Fukuda|福田 赳夫|"Fukuda Takeo"|January 14,1905–July 5, 1995 was a Japanese politician and the 67th Prime Minister of Japan from December 24,1976 to December 7, 1978.

He was born in Gunma Prefecture and attended Tokyo Imperial University. Before and during World War II, he served as a bureaucrat in the Finance Ministry and as Chief Cabinet Secretary. After the war, he directed Japan's general accounting office.

In 1952, Fukuda was elected to the House of Representatives representing the third district of Gunma. He was elected party secretary in 1957 and served as Minister of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries (1959-69), Minister of Finance (1969-71), Minister of Foreign Affairs (1971-73), and Director of the Economic Planning Agency (1974-76). He was a candidate for prime minister in 1972 but lost to Kakuei Tanaka.He took over the presidency of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) from Takeo Miki after the party's poor showing in the 1976 election. It remained in office, but relied on the support of minor parties to maintain a parliamentary majority. Although he was regarded as a conservative and a hawk on foreign policies, Fukuda drew international criticism when he caved in to the demands of a group of terrorists who hijacked Japan Airlines Flight 472, saying "Jinmei wa chikyû yori omoi" (The value of a human life outweighs the earth)."

In an effort to end the LDP's faction system, Fukuda introduced primary elections within the party. Ironically, in the first primary towards the end of 1978, he was beaten by Masayoshi Ohira for the presidency of the LDP, and forced to resign as Prime Minister.

Fukuda was later instrumental in the formation of the Inter Action Council.

He retired from politics in 1990 and died in 1995.

His eldest son, Yasuo Fukuda, after the sudden resignation of Shinzo Abe, became Prime Minister in September 2007, and remained in that office for one year, making him the first son of a Japanese prime minister to become a prime minister himself. [cite news|url=http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/asia/article2500575.ece|title=The reluctant Prime Minister prepares to step up to the plate|first=Richard|last=Parry|date=2007-09-21|work=The Times Online|publisher=News International Group] In addition, Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi began his political career as a secretary to Fukuda, and the two were very close in their political and personal lives from the 1970s onward (Fukuda was the best man at Koizumi's wedding).


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