Sadakazu Tanigaki

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Sadakazu Tanigaki
谷垣 禎一
Tanigaki Sadakazu.jpg
Minister of Justice
In office
December 26, 2012 – September 3, 2014
Prime Minister Shinzō Abe
Preceded by Makoto Taki
Succeeded by Midori Matsushima
Minister of Finance
In office
September 22, 2003 – September 26, 2006
Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi
Preceded by Masajuro Shiokawa
Succeeded by Koji Omi
Personal details
Born (1945-03-07) March 7, 1945 (age 70)
Fukuchiyama, Japan
Political party Liberal Democratic Party
Alma mater University of Tokyo
Website Sadakazu Tanigaki's official website
Third Realigned Koizumi Cabinet
Secretary Shinzo Abe
Internal Affairs Heizō Takenaka
Justice Seiken Sugiura
Foreign Affairs Taro Aso
Finance Sadakazu Tanigaki
Education Kenji Kosaka
Health Jirō Kawasaki
Agriculture Shoichi Nakagawa
Economy Toshihiro Nikai
Land Kazuo Kitagawa
Environment Yuriko Koike
Defense Fukushiro Nukaga
Ministers of State Tetsuo Kutsukake, Kaoru Yosano, Koki Chuma, Iwao Matsuda, Kuniko Inoguchi

Sadakazu Tanigaki (谷垣 禎一 Tanigaki Sadakazu?, born March 7, 1945) is a conservative Japanese politician who served as Minister of Finance from 2003 to 2006 in the cabinet of Jun'ichirō Koizumi. He also served as Minister of Construction and Transport in the cabinet of Yasuo Fukuda and served his ninth term as a member of the House of Representatives, representing Kyoto's Fifth District. He was elected as President of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) on September 28, 2009, following the party's massive defeat in the 2009 general election. He was replaced by Shinzō Abe on September 26, 2012. He was only the second LDP leader who was not simultaneously Prime Minister of Japan.

Early life and education[edit]

Tanigaki was born in Fukuchiyama on March 7, 1945. He attended Azabu High School. He graduated from the faculty of law at the University of Tokyo in 1974, and worked as a secretary for his father, who was the then minister of education. He went on to pass the Japanese bar examination in 1979, specializing in tax law, and he registered as an attorney in 1982 after completing his legal training.[1]

Political career[edit]

Tanigaki was prepared for a legal career after close to ten years of study, but his father, who represented the 2nd district in Kyoto, died in 1983. Tanigaki moved to Kyoto to run for his father's seat.

He briefly headed the Science and Technology Agency in 1997. Under the then prime minister Koizumi, he served in a number of positions, including the Financial Reconstruction Commission, the National Public Safety Commission, and ultimately as Minister of Finance from September 22, 2003 to September 26, 2006. Since 2002, Tanigaki has led a minor faction in the Liberal Democratic Party, formerly part of the Kochikai faction, with 11 members in the lower house and 4 in the upper house.

Tanigaki declared his candidacy for the LDP presidency on July 28, 2006, but came in third place in a three-way race against Shinzō Abe and Tarō Asō. Tanigaki was viewed as the "moderate" candidate in the race, mainly due to his foreign policy views: unlike Abe and Asō, he stated that he would not continue visits to Yasukuni Shrine if he became prime minister, which made him a more attractive candidate among LDP leaders who sought better relations with China and Korea leader . Nonetheless, like Abe and Asō, Tanigaki is affiliated to the openly revisionist lobby Nippon Kaigi, which advocates visits of Prime Ministers to the controversial shrine.[2]

On September 24, 2007, Tanigaki was named chief policymaker of the LDP by newly elected party president Yasuo Fukuda.[3] He was subsequently appointed as minister of construction and transport on August 1, 2008.[4]

On September 28, 2009, he was elected by his party as LDP leader to replace former prime minister Tarō Asō after the Democratic Party of Japan achieved a landslide election result in the 2009 general election and took government from the LDP.[5]

In the early period of the Democratic Party of Japan government, Tanigaki frequently condemned the DPJ for advocating for a rise in the sales taxes by 5 percent, in spite of the enormous, problematic national deficit,[6] and despite his own past calls to increase the tax.[7][8]

To gain a potential legislative LDP-coalition majority, he attempted an unsuccessful no-confidence motion against Naoto Kan in June 2011,[9] after refusing Kan's earlier offers of a grand coalition.[10]

In 2012, the LDP under Tanigaki worked with prime minister Yoshihiko Noda of the ruling DPJ to pass an increase in the consumption tax from the current 5% to 8% in April 2014 and 10% in October 2015.[11] He agreed not to introduce a no-confidence motion or a censure motion against Noda, in return for Noda's promise to hold elections "soon."[12]

On August 28, 2012, soon after the consumption tax bills were passed through the diet a censure motion was passed by the LDP and the New Komeito Party against Prime Minister Noda. The opposition parties were to boycott debate in the chamber, meaning that any new bills passed in the DPJ-controlled House of Representatives cannot be enacted.[13]

Tanigaki had expected to be re-elected as LDP head unopposed in 2012, but former Prime Minister Shinzō Abe and several others suggested that they could run against him.[14] He lost the party election to Abe on September 26, 2012.[15]


Tanigaki sleeps early and arises early. He engages in stretching exercises and goes on long distance bicycle rides on the weekends to relieve stress. Tanigaki also enjoys mountain climbing and wine.[1]


  1. ^ a b Japan Times, "Fukuda's new lineup", August 3, 2008.
  2. ^ Nippon Kaigi website
  3. ^ "Fukuda appoints Ibuki as secretary-general, Tanigaki as policy chief", Mainichi Daily News, September 24, 2007.
  4. ^ "Fukuda overhauls Cabinet / LDP executive shakeup also elevates Aso to party No. 2", The Yomiuri Shimbun, August 2, 2008.
  5. ^ Opposition LDP picks Tanigaki as new leader as it tackles renewal Kyodo News September 28, 2009
  6. ^ The Japan Times Tanigaki: DPJ ripped us off LDP chief accuses ruling party of stealing idea to double sales tax 19 June 2010 Retrieved on August 15, 2012
  7. ^ The Japan Times Hiking consumption tax 'unavoidable,' Tanigaki says 14 October 2005 Retrieved on August 15, 2012
  8. ^ The Japan Times Tanigaki pitches 8% sales tax by '11 4 August 2006 Retrieved on August 15, 2012
  9. ^ BBC Japan Prime Minister Naoto Kan survives challenge 2 June 2011 Retrieved on August 15, 2012
  10. ^ The Daily Yomiuri LDP resists 'grand coalition' / Party willing to help with disaster efforts--but not within Cabinet 21 March 2011 Retrieved on August 15, 2012
  11. ^ Forbes magazine Japan Confronts Fiscal Reality: Consumption Tax Hike Agreed 9 June 2012 Retrieved on August 15, 2012
  12. ^ The Wall Street Journal Loophole Could Thwart Japan Sales-Tax Rise 14 August 2012 Retrieved on August 15, 2012
  13. ^ The Wall Street Journal Japan's Prime Minister Hit With Censure Motion 29 August 2012 Retrieved on August 29, 2012
  14. ^ The Daily Yomiuri 29 August 2012 Retrieved on August 29, 2012
  15. ^ Asahi Shimbun Former PM Abe returns to lead LDP, angers S. Koreans 26 September 2012 Retrieved on September 26, 2012
House of Representatives of Japan
New constituency Member of the House of Representatives
for Kyoto 5th district

Political offices
Preceded by
Jin Murai
Chairperson of the National Public Safety Commission
Succeeded by
Kiyoko Ono
New office Minister of State for Food Safety
Minister of State for Industrial Revitalisation
Succeeded by
Kazuyoshi Kaneko
Preceded by
Masajuro Shiokawa
Minister of Finance
Succeeded by
Koji Omi
Preceded by
Tetsuzo Fuyushiba
Minister of Land, Infrastructure and Transport of Japan
Succeeded by
Nariaki Nakayama
Preceded by
Makoto Taki
Minister of Justice
Succeeded by
Midori Matsushima
Party political offices
Preceded by
Nobuteru Ishihara
Chairperson of the Policy Affairs Research Council of the Liberal Democratic Party
Succeeded by
Kosuke Hori
Preceded by
Tarō Asō
Leader of the Liberal Democratic Party
Succeeded by
Shinzō Abe
Preceded by
Shigeru Ishiba
Secretary-General of the Liberal Democratic Party