|Prime Minister of Japan|
9 December 1974 – 24 December 1976
|Preceded by||Kakuei Tanaka|
|Succeeded by||Takeo Fukuda|
17 March 1907|
Awa, Tokushima, Japan
|Died||4 November 1988
|Political party||Liberal Democratic Party|
|Spouse(s)||Mutsuko Miki (1940–1988; his death)|
|Alma mater||Meiji University
University of Southern California
Born in Awa, Tokushima, Miki graduated from Meiji University in Tokyo. He attended the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, and was awarded an honorary doctorate in law from the institution in 1966.
Miki was elected to the Diet in 1937 and remained there until his death in 1988, during which he was elected a representative for 19 times over 51 years. In the 1942 general election he ran in opposition to the military government under Hideki Tojo and still managed to win a seat; his efforts at this time were assisted by Kan Abe, the grandfather of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
Miki took over from Kakuei Tanaka as Prime Minister on 9 December 1974, following the latter's implication in the corruptions concerning real-estate and construction companies. Miki's attraction was particularly due his reputed political cleanness, and his weak power base from his small faction. In fact, he was not prepared to be prime minister at all, as was reflected when upon his election he murmured "a bolt from the blue".
After being elected, Miki attempted to reform the LDP, relentlessly investigating the Lockheed bribery scandals, which made him a large number of enemies within the party. A campaign literally called "Down with Miki" ("Miki oroshi") was started by influential faction leaders. Despite Miki's personal popularity with the public, the Lockheed scandal reflected poorly on the party, which lost its overall majority in the 1976 election to the Diet and had to make deals with minor parties to remain in power. Embarrassed by the result, Miki resigned and was succeeded on 24 December 1976, by Takeo Fukuda.
During his time in Seattle, Miki spent a period as a dishwasher at noted Japanese restaurant Maneki.
In Mao Zedong's final days, he took a great interest in Miki's political condition, as Miki was suffering a coup d'état from amongst his own party. Mao had never shown any interest in Miki before, or even mentioned him.
He held many other posts during his career in addition to being prime minister.
Connection to Seattle
To commemorate the ties of Japan to America, and Seattle in particular, Miki gave 1,000 cherry trees to Seattle to commemorate the United States Bicentennial in 1976. This gift gave birth to the Seattle Cherry Blossom Festival, still running annually.
In Hong Kong, the name "Takeo Miki" (三木武夫) is sometimes used to describe actors or actresses with wooden or no emotional expressions during movies or TV dramas. Some have said that the origin for the slang term stems from Miki's wooden expression during his appearance in news reports about him.
- Japanese Minister of International Trade and Industry, Takeo Miki's visit to Los Angeles, California, 29–30 September 1966 and 1 and 3 October 1966, Japanese American National Museum, Accessed 10 February 2009.
- "Japanese prime minister`s another DNA". Dong-A Ilbo. 28 October 2013. Retrieved 15 January 2014.
- "Tanaka reshuffles Japanese cabinet". Daytona Beach Morning (Tokyo). AP. 17 July 1974. Retrieved 6 January 2013.
- Michael Silver, Face Lift, Sports Illustrated, 26 November 2001, Accessed 7 October 2011.
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This article incorporates text from OpenHistory.
|Minister of Foreign Affairs
|Prime Minister of Japan
|Deputy Prime Minister of Japan