Akihiko Kumashiro

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
In this Japanese name, the family name is "Kumashiro".
Akihiko Kumashiro
Member of the House of Representatives of Japan for Okayama Prefecture's 2nd district
In office
1993–2005
Succeeded by Seiji Hagiwara
Personal details
Born (1940-02-21) February 21, 1940 (age 74)
Okayama, Japan
Political party Liberal Democratic Party
Alma mater Tokyo University
University of Wisconsin–Madison
Website http://kumashiro-akihiko.com/

Akihiko Kumashiro (熊代 昭彦 Kumashiro Akihiko?, born February 21, 1940) is a Japanese politician and member of the Liberal Democratic Party who served four terms in the House of Representatives of Japan. He held the District 2 seat of Okayama Prefecture. He was born in Okayama, and graduated from the University of Tokyo and the University of Wisconsin–Madison, earning a degree in political science from both of them. After graduating, he became a government official in multiple offices, including the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Ministry of Health and Welfare. After being elected to the Diet of Japan, he became an important figure in the movement for non-profit organizations to gain legal person status and recognition in Japan. Though he at first opposed such measures, he ultimately proved one of its strongest advocates. When he did not support postal privatization, Prime Minister of Japan Junichiro Koizumi labeled him a "rebel" member of the party, and fielded another party candidate against him. This caused him to drop out of the race, and instead run for Mayor of Okayama.

Early life and education[edit]

Kumashiro was born in 1940 in Okayama. He was the second of eight children, and grew up working on his family farm.[1] He attended the Okayama Sozan highschool. He graduated from the University of Tokyo in 1963 with a bachelors in Political Science.[2] He received a Masters of Political Science from the University of Wisconsin–Madison in 1969.[3] Before running for office, Kumashiro was the Director of the Japanese Association of Sports for the Disabled.[4]

Political career[edit]

After graduating, he became an official in the Ministry of Home Affairs, eventually becoming vice minister and Liberal Democratic Party police chief. Prior to serving in the Diet, Kumashiro was an official with the Ministry of Health and Welfare,[5] where he was secretary to the Minister of Health. He then served as Deputy Director of Health and Welfare in charge of medical insurance, Deputy Ministry of Health Affairs, and Director of Health and Welfare assistance.[4]

Diet[edit]

Kumashiro served four terms in the Diet of Japan as a Liberal Democratic Party member of the House of Representatives, holding the District 2 seat of Okayama Prefecture. He was first elected in July 1993, and was re-elected in October 1996, June 2000, and November 2003.[4]

Beginning in 1995, he served as deputy chair and then chair of the Liberal Democratic Party's special committee on non-profit organizations.[6] Though he initially thought of non-profit organizations as anti-government, he came to believe that they were a force of good in Japan, and advocated for less government intervention in their affairs.[7] He played an integral role in passing a law which gave non-profit organizations legal personality.[7] He also advocated allowing citizens to deduct charitable donations from their taxes.[8]

He headed the LDP's financial reconstruction committee in 2002, which sought to fix downturns in the Japanese economy.[9] He was also the senior vice minister for the Cabinet Office.[2] He was a member of the Hashimoto faction.[2] When he failed to support postal privatization, Prime Minister of Japan Junichiro Koizumi labeled him a "rebel" member of the party, and fielded Seiji Hagiwara as the "official" party candidate, causing Kumashiro to drop out of the race.[10] After dropping out, he ran for Mayor of Okayama, an office that Hagiwara had vacated to run for the Diet, but lost the race.[4][10] In 2007, he ran for the House of Councillors, but lost the election.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Kumashiro, Akihiko (2007). くましろ昭彦の人となりをご紹介します (in Japanese). Archived from the original on 26 July 2010. Retrieved 7 July 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c "Daily Summary of the Japanese Press". Tokyo: Embassy of the United States in Tokyo. 11 January 2002. Retrieved 7 July 2010. 
  3. ^ "Who is Akihiko Kumashiro?'". Akichan. Biglobe. 4 February 2003. Retrieved 7 July 2010. 
  4. ^ a b c d e "くましろ昭彦略歴 (Akihiko Biography)" (in Japanese). Akihiko Kumashrio. 2007. Archived from the original on 26 July 2010. Retrieved 7 July 2010. 
  5. ^ Osborne, Stephen (2003). The Voluntary and Non-Profit Sector in Japan: The Challenge of Change. London: Routledge. p. 72. ISBN 0-415-24970-8. Retrieved 7 July 2010. 
  6. ^ Kambayashi, Takehiko (1 February 2005). "Volunteering in Japan: A legacy of Kobe earthquake". World Volunteer. Archived from the original on 13 July 2010. Retrieved 7 July 2010. 
  7. ^ a b Pekkanen, Robert (Winter 2000). "Japan's New Politics: The Case of the NPO Law". Journal of Japanese Studies (The Society for Japanese Studies) 26 (1): 126–127. doi:10.2307/133393. 
  8. ^ Takao, Yasuo (March–April 2001). "The Rise of the "Third Sector" in Japan". Asian Survey (Berkeley, California: University of California Press) 41 (2): 303. doi:10.1525/as.2001.41.2.290. 
  9. ^ Brooke, James (30 November 2002). "International Business; Tokyo Official Takes a New Tack to Bring Banks Into Line". The New York Times (New York City). The New York Times Company. Retrieved 7 July 2010. 
  10. ^ a b Curtin, J. Sean (23 August 2005). "Assassins and Convicts". Asia Times Online. Retrieved 7 July 2010.