BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH OF THE APPF HONORARY PRESIDENT
Yasuhiro Nakasone, founder and current APPF Honorary President, served as prime minister of Japan from 1982-1987, during which time he attended an unprecedented presence as a global political figure. He was the first Japanese prime minister to use the annual summit of the seven leading Western nations as a vehicle to assert his country's role on the world stage.
Mr. Nakasone has had an important impact on the economic and strategic events of this decade. He played an active role at the 1983 Western summit in Williamsburg, Virginia, where he assisted in the drafting of a statement urging the Soviet Union to withdraw its SS-20 missiles from Europe and Asia. In January 1986, he met President Reagan in Los Angeles to discuss the widening trade imbalance between Japan and the United States. Following this meeting, Mr. Nakasone returned to Japan and ordered new measures to open Japan's markets to imported goods.
Japan's bilateral relations with the Soviet Union also concerned Mr. Nakasone, who invited Soviet Foreign minister Eduard Shevardnadze to his country in 1986. This meeting resulted in the signing of agreements on technical cooperation and cultural exchanges, though no progress was made toward the settlement of Japan's claim to four Soviet-held islands north of Hokkaido.
One of the Mr. Nakasone´s major economic initiatives was the appointment, in 1986, of the Mackawa Commission, which issued a report calling on Japan to undergo a "historic transformation" away from export-led growth and toward expansion through increased domestic demand.
Yasuhiro Nakasone was born on May 27, 1918 and attended the University of Tokyo, where he majored in political science from the Faculty of Law. Following graduation, he became a civil servant in the Ministry of Home Affairs. During World War II, Nakasone served in the paymaster corps of the Imperial Navy, rising to the rank of lieutenant commander.
Mr. Nakasone entered politics in December 1946. The following year, he was elected to the first of 19 consecutive terms in the House of Representatives, the lower chamber of the Diet, Japan's parliament. He was one of the first Japanese leaders to visit the mainland of China after the communists assumed power.
In his first cabinet post, Mr. Nakasone was Minister of State and Director General of Science and Technology Agency, and Chairman of the Nuclear Commission under second Kishi cabinet. After serving as Minister of Transport in November 1967 under the second Satoh cabinet, he was again named Minister of State and Director General of Defense in January 1970 under the third Satoh cabinet, Minister of International Trade and Industry in July and December 1972 under the first and second Tanaka cabinets, and Minister of State and Director General of the Administrative Management Agency in 1980 and 1981 under the Suzuki cabinet. After Prime Minister Zenko Suzuki stepped down from the Premiership in October 1982, Mr. Nakasone entered the race for prime minister and was elected with 58% of the votes cast.
Mr. Nakasone himself stepped down from the prime minister's office five years of service. He was followed by his endorsed successor, Prime Minister Noboru Takeshita. Mr. Nakasone remains a powerful figure in Japanese politics. After his resignation, he established the Institute for International Policy studies that examines the means for furthering his goal of getting Japan to play a global role commensurate with its significant economic power.