|Prime Minister of Japan|
5 April 2000 – 26 April 2001
|Preceded by||Mikio Aoki (Acting)|
|Succeeded by||Junichiro Koizumi|
|Minister of Construction|
8 August 1995 – 11 January 1996
|Prime Minister||Tomiichi Murayama|
|Preceded by||Koken Nosaka|
|Succeeded by||Eiichi Nakao|
|Minister of International Trade and Industry|
12 December 1992 – 20 July 1993
|Prime Minister||Kiichi Miyazawa|
|Preceded by||Kozo Watanabe|
|Succeeded by||Hiroshi Kumagai|
|Minister of Education|
27 December 1983 – 1 November 1984
|Prime Minister||Yasuhiro Nakasone|
|Preceded by||Mitsuo Setoyama|
|Succeeded by||Hikaru Matsunaga|
14 July 1937 |
|Political party||Liberal Democratic Party|
|Alma mater||Waseda University|
|Website||Yoshiro Mori WebSite|
Yoshirō Mori (森 喜朗 Mori Yoshirō , born 14 July 1937) is a Japanese politician who served as the 85th and 86th Prime Minister of Japan starting at 5 April 2000 ending 26 April 2001. Described as having "the heart of a flea and the brain of a shark," he was an unpopular prime minister mainly remembered today for his many gaffes and situationally inappropriate actions. He is currently President of the Japan Rugby Football Union as well as the Japan-Korea Parliamentarians' Union.
Early life and education
Yoshiro Mori was born in present-day Nomi, Ishikawa, Japan, as the son of Shigeki and Kaoru Mori, wealthy rice farmers with a history in politics, as both his father and grandfather served as the mayor of Neagari, Ishikawa Prefecture. His mother died when Yoshiro was seven years old. He studied at the Waseda University in Tokyo, joining the rugby union club.
Afterwards Mori joined the Sankei Shimbun, a conservative newspaper in Japan. In 1962, he left the newspaper and became secretary of a Diet member, and in 1969, he was elected in the lower house at age 32. He was reelected 10 consecutive times. In 1980, he was involved in the Recruit scandal about receiving unlisted shares of Recruit (company) before they were publicly traded, and selling them after they were made public for a profit of approximately 1 million dollars. He was education minister in 1983 and 1984, international trade and industry minister in 1992 and 1993, and construction minister in 1995 and 1996.
Mori's predecessor, Keizō Obuchi, suffered a stroke on 2 April 2000 and was unable to continue this office. Therefore, Mori, who was the secretary general of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), became the prime minister.
The media attempted to criticize his position in office as marred with a long list of faux-pas, unpopular decisions, PR mistakes and gaffes:
- One of the earliest occurred at Obuchi's funeral, when Mori failed to clap and bow properly before Obuchi's shrine, an important portion of a traditional Japanese funeral rite. The other world leaders present at the funeral, including former U.S. President Bill Clinton, performed the ritual correctly.
- At a meeting of political leaders in Tokyo, Mori described Japan as "the nation of the deities, with the Emperor at its center." This "divine nation statement" stirred controversy in Japan, as the statement sounded like he was in support of offering the Emperor absolute power, which Emperor Showa explicitly renounced in the Ningen Sengen. The media reported it as a "gaffe" but Mori insisted that he meant what he said.
- During the election campaign of 2000, one of his most notable "slips of the tongue" happened in a speech in Niigata on 20 June. When asked about recent newspaper reports that showed that roughly half of the voters still had not decided whom to vote for, he replied “If they still have no interest in the election, it would be all right if they just slept in on that [election] day.” 
- According to the Japanese media, before the 26th G8 summit in 2000, Mori was given some English training. Upon meeting U.S. President Bill Clinton, Mori was to say "How are you". Instead, he slipped up and said "Who are you". Clinton answered, "Well, I'm Hillary Clinton's husband", to which Mori replied, "Me too". However, this never actually happened. The media did not apologize for this fabrication.
- Mori's biggest public relations disaster was to continue a round of golf after receiving the news that the US submarine USS Greeneville had accidentally hit and sunk the Japanese fishing ship Ehime Maru during an emergency surface drill on 9 February 2001, resulting in 9 dead students and teachers.
- Mori promised then newly elected ROC President Chen Shui-bian that he would celebrate if Chen won the 2000 presidential elections. This promise was not fulfilled until late 2003, at the time Chen was running for re-election to a second term.
Towards the end of his term, his approval rating dropped to single digits. He was replaced by Junichiro Koizumi on 26 April 2001.
Mori remains a member of the House of Representatives, representing the Second District of Ishikawa. He is married to Chieko (born: Chieko Maki), a fellow Waseda University student, and he has a son, Yūki Mori, and a daughter, Yoko Fujimoto. He was awarded the Padma Bhushan, India's third highest civilian award, in 2004.
Mori appointed three cabinets. The third cabinet is officially referred to as a continuation of the second cabinet, as the changes came amid a major administrative realignment in January 2001 that eliminated several cabinet positions and renamed several key ministries.
Resignation from politics
On Sunday July 22, 2012 Mori announced that he would not run in the next house of representatives election.
Mori played the game of rugby union at Waseda University and developed a passion for it there, though he was never a high-level player. In June 2005, he became President of the Japan Rugby Football Union and it had been hoped his clout would help secure the 2011 Rugby Union World Cup for Japan, but instead the event was awarded to New Zealand in late November 2005. This led former PM Yoshiro Mori to accuse the Commonwealth of Nations countries of "passing the ball around their friends." (However at a special International Rugby Board meeting held in Dublin on 28 July 2009, Japan was announced as the host for the 2019 RWC.)
Once when he discussed his relationship with the other parties in the ruling coalition, he stated, "In rugby, one person doesn't become a star, one person plays for all, and all play for one."
- Richards, Huw A Game for Hooligans: The History of Rugby Union (Mainstream Publishing, Edinburgh, 2007, ISBN 978-1-84596-255-5)
- Profile: Yoshiro Mori BBC News, (2000-11-20, 08:34 GMT
- 噂の眞相特別取材班｢『サメの脳ミソ』と『ノミの心臓』を持つ森喜朗 "総理失格" の人間性の証明」 (『噂の眞相』2000年6月号、pp.24–31)
- Edmund Terence Gómez (2002). Political Business in East Asia. Taylor & Francis Group. p. 336. ISBN 978-0-415-27148-6. Retrieved 1 January 2013.
- Japan's prime minister adds more gaffes at Obuchi funeral Star-Banner
- Japanese PM sparks holy row BBC News, (2000-05-16, 08:40 GMT
- Ehime Maru Incident Report IncidentNews.gov, (9 February 2001
- The Daily Yomiuri Ex-PM Mori not to run in next election Retrieved on July 24, 2012
- Richards, p276
- Richards, p277
- "England will host 2015 World Cup". BBC. 28 July 2009. Retrieved 28 July 2009.
- Famous Ruggers by Wes Clark and others, retrieved 19 August 2009
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Yoshiro Mori.|
- Official website (in Japanese)
|Prime Minister of Japan
|Chair of the G8