Heizō Takenaka (竹中 平蔵 Takenaka Heizō , born 3 March 1951) is a Japanese economist and retired politician, last serving as Minister of Internal Affairs and Communications and Minister of State for Privatization of the Postal Services in the cabinet of Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi. As of July 2007, he is a professor at Keio University and an advisor for other academic institutions and companies.
Takenaka was the second son of a shoe seller in Wakayama City. He attended Hitotsubashi University to study under Ichiro Nakayama and graduated with a BA in Economics in 1973. While at Hitotsubashi, he played the mandolin, and met his wife (a student at Tsuda College) through his mandolin club.
In 1973, Takenaka entered the Development Bank of Japan. He was transferred into its Institute for Capital Investment Studies in 1977.
In 1981, he left the DBJ to study for a year at Harvard University and the University of Pennsylvania, where he researched capital investment in the United States. The product of his research, the 1984 book Development Studies and Capital Expenditure Economics, won the Suntory Liberal Arts Prize.
Takenaka then worked in the Ministry of Finance as a money supply researcher. He initially planned to stay for two years, but ended up working there for five years, from 1982 to 1987.
He later completed his Ph.D. at Osaka University. He taught as an associate professor at Osaka (1987–89) and Harvard (1989–90), and received tenure in the Faculty of Policy Management of Keio University SFC (Shonan Fujisawa Campus).
Takenaka was picked by Koizumi to become the Minister of State for Economic and Fiscal Policy in 2001. In this capacity, Takenaka has become one of the most prominent voices in the ongoing debate over the privatization and breakup of Japan Post.
In 2002 he became Minister of State for Financial Services as well. In this capacity he was the author of the Takenaka Plan which successfully tackled Japan's banking crisis.
After Koizumi's Liberal Democratic Party crushing victory in the 2005 General Election, Takenaka assumed his last position as Minister of Internal Affairs and Communications, in charge of Japan Post privatization.
He further attempted to privatize the national public broadcaster NHK but Koizumi did not agree and the attempt was stalled. On 15 September 2005, he announced his retirement from politics. On 28 September his resignation from the House of Councillors was permitted. On 29 September, he submitted a resignation letter to the Liberal Democratic Party, which was agreed on 11 November. On the same day his return to Keio University was disclosed.
- "Japan Takes on Challenges of Structural Reforms", in: Frank-Jürgen Richter and Pamela Mar: Recreating Asia, New York: John Wiley, 2002.
- ja:竹中平蔵#経歴 as of 15:28, 14 June 2007
- (Japanese) Official website
- Profile at Prime Minister's Office
- Japan acts to address banks' bad debt crisis, October 2002 article in The Independent
- Official announcement of Plan for Financial Revival (so-called Takenaka Plan)
|Minister of State for Economic and Fiscal Policy of Japan
2001 - 2005
|Minister of State for Financial Services of Japan
2002 - 2005
|Minister of Internal Affairs and Communications of Japan
2005 - 2006