Fukuda, Takeo

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Takeo Fukuda, 1905–95, Japanese politician, b. Gunma prefecture, prime minister of Japan (1976–78). Born into a wealthy farming family, he studied law at Tokyo Imperial Univ. (grad. 1929). After working in the ministry of finance (1929–50), he was elected to the house of representatives (1952); he subsequently joined the newly formed Liberal Democratic party, becoming party secretary in 1957. Fukuda held several ministerial posts including agriculture, forestry, and fisheries (1959–69), finance (1969–71), and foreign affairs (1971–72), and was also director of economic planning (1974–76). His Fukuda Doctrine (1977) pledged that Japan would not again become a military power and sought to improve relations with other Asian countries, and he oversaw the signing (1978) of a treaty of peace and friendship with China. In 1978 he lost the party presidency to Masayoshi Ohira and was forced to resign as prime minister. His son Yasuo Fukuda also served (2007–8) as prime minister.