Miyazawa, Kiichi

views updated

Kiichi Miyazawa (kē-ē´chē mē´äzä´wä), 1919–2007, Japanese politician, b. Fukuyama. A member of an eminent political family, he graduated from Tokyo Univ. and served in the finance ministry during the Allied occupation. After serving in the House of Councillors (1953–65), he held a seat in the House of Representatives (1967–2003), and subsequently held several important posts, including minister of international trade and industry (1970–71), foreign minister (1974–76), finance minister (1986–88), and deputy prime minister (1987–88). Leader of one of the largest factions of the Liberal Democratic party (LDP) and an advocate of closer Japanese relations with Asian nations, he was elected party leader in 1991 and served as Japan's prime minister in 1991–93. In 1993, Miyazawa resigned after failure to pass reforms led to the LDP's first defeat in national elections since 1955. From 1998 to 2001 he again was finance minister; he led Japan's efforts to help alleviate the 1997–98 Asian economic crisis and to revive Japan's ailing banking industry.