Nobutaka Machimura

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Nobutaka Machimura
町村 信孝
Machimura Nobutaka 1-2.jpg
Speaker of the House of Representative
of Japan
Assumed office
24 December 2014
Monarch Akihito
Preceded by Bunmei Ibuki
Chief Cabinet Secretary
In office
26 September 2007 – 24 September 2008
Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda
Preceded by Kaoru Yosano
Succeeded by Takeo Kawamura
Minister of Foreign Affairs
In office
27 September 2004 – 21 September 2005
Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi
Preceded by Yoriko Kawaguchi
Succeeded by Tarō Asō
Personal details
Born (1944-10-17) 17 October 1944 (age 70)
Numazu, Shizuoka, Japan
Alma mater University of Tokyo
Wesleyan University
Nobutaka Machimura and Condoleezza Rice.

Nobutaka Machimura (町村 信孝 Machimura Nobutaka?, born 17 October 1944) is a Japanese politician. He is a member of the House of Representatives of Japan and a member of the Liberal Democratic Party.[1] He was Chief Cabinet Secretary in the government of Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda from 2007 to 2008.

Early life and education[edit]

Machimura was born on 17 October 1944. He attended the University of Tokyo and Wesleyan University in the United States.


Machimura was elected to his first term in the House of Representatives in the December 1983 election, and he has been re-elected in each election since. He became Minister of Education, Science, Sports and Culture on 11 September 1997, as part of Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto's second cabinet, and became State Secretary for Foreign Affairs on 31 July 1998, in Keizō Obuchi's first cabinet. In March 2000, he became Special Advisor to the Prime Minister, serving under Obuchi and his successor, Yoshirō Mori. On 5 December 2000, he became Minister of Education, Science, Sports and Culture and Director-General of the Science and Technology Agency, before becoming Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology on 6 January 2001.[1]

He was the Minister for Foreign Affairs under Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi from 27 September 2004[1] to 31 October 2005. His goals included signing a treaty with Russia resolving a border dispute, and investigating the whereabouts of Japanese hostages who were kidnapped by North Korean agents during the 1970s and 1980s. He was replaced by Tarō Asō in the cabinet reshuffle that followed the 11 September 2005 election.

He was appointed Minister for Foreign Affairs again by Prime Minister Shinzō Abe on 27 August 2007.[2] In 2006, Machimura became chairman of the Seiwa Seisaku Kenkyūkai, the LDP's largest faction.[3] As such, on 14 September 2007, he backed Yasuo Fukuda's bid to become Abe's successor, following Abe's resignation on September 12.[4] Since 2007, Machimura co-chairs his faction alongside Hidenao Nakagawa and Shūzen Tanigawa.[5]

In Fukuda's government, sworn in on 16 September 2007, Machimura became Chief Cabinet Secretary and State Minister in charge of abduction issues.[6] He was replaced by Takeo Kawamura in the cabinet of prime minister Taro Aso, which was appointed on 24 September 2008.[7]

He is the vice president of the Japan-China Friendship Parliamentarians' Union.

Personal life[edit]

On 18 December 2007, Machimura said at an official press conference that he believes in the existence of UFOs.[8][9] The Shukan Bunshun weekly quoted him as saying, “No matter what it looks like, the United States is a very conservative country.”[citation needed]

He was quoted as saying in February 2008, "Obama is black and Hillary is a woman. I guess it would be difficult for them to win. It will likely be McCain who will win the race in the end."[citation needed]

However, his rebuttal to the magazine states that his best friend was African-American when he studied at Wesleyan University in Connecticut, he was quoted as saying "It’s not in my mindset to discriminate against black people or women... In fact, Secretary of State (Condoleezza) Rice was the person I trusted the most when I was foreign minister."[citation needed]


  1. ^ a b c "Profile of Minister for Foreign Affairs Nobutaka Machimura", Foreign Ministry website.
  2. ^ Takashi Hirokawa and Stuart Biggs, "Abe Replaces Finance Minister; Aso to Rebuild LDP", Bloomberg, 27 August 2007.
  3. ^ "Machimura takes top LDP faction". The Japan Times. 20 October 2006. Retrieved 2 February 2009. 
  4. ^ Keiichi Yamamura and Sachiko Sakamaki, "Fukuda Challenges Aso in Race to Be Prime Minister", Bloomberg, 14 September 2007.
  5. ^ (Japanese) Official faction website: List of chairmen
  6. ^ "Fukuda Cabinet launched / Changes minimized to reduce impact on Diet business", The Yomiuri Shimbun, 26 September 2007.
  7. ^ "Aso elected premier / Announces Cabinet lineup himself; poll likely on 2 November", The Yomiuri Shimbun, 25 September 2008.
  8. ^ (Dutch) Japanse kabinetssecretaris gelooft in UFO's,, December 19, 2007
  9. ^ "UFOs exist, says Japan official". BBC. 18 December 2007. Retrieved 20 May 2010. 
House of Representatives of Japan
Preceded by
Multi-member constituency
Representative for Hokkaidō 1st district

District eliminated
New constituency Representative for Hokkaidō 5th district
Succeeded by
Chiyomi Kobayashi
Preceded by
Representative for the Hokkaidō PR block
Succeeded by
Title last held by
Chiyomi Kobayashi
Representative for Hokkaidō 5th district
Political offices
Preceded by
Bunmei Ibuki
Speaker of the House of Representative of Japan
Preceded by
Kaoru Yosano
Chief Cabinet Secretary of Japan
Succeeded by
Takeo Kawamura
Preceded by
Kaoru Yosano
Minister of State for the Abduction Issue
Succeeded by
Kyoko Nakayama
Preceded by
Tarō Asō
Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan
Succeeded by
Masahiko Kōmura
Preceded by
Yoriko Kawaguchi
Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan
Succeeded by
Tarō Asō
New creation Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan
Succeeded by
Atsuko Toyama
Preceded by
Takashi Kosugi
Tadamori Oshima
Minister of Education
Succeeded by
Akito Arima
Office abolished