Akira Nagatsuma

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Akira Nagatsuma
長妻 昭
Akira Nagatsuma cropped 1 長妻昭.JPG
Minister of Health, Labour, and Welfare
In office
June 8, 2009 – September 17, 2010
Prime Minister
Preceded by Yōichi Masuzoe
Succeeded by Ritsuo Hosokawa
Member of the House of Representatives
Assumed office
June 26, 2000
Preceded by Shigeru Kasuya
Constituency Tokyo-7th (2009–present, 2000–2005)
Tokyo PR (2005–2009)
Personal details
Born (1960-06-14) June 14, 1960 (age 58)
Tokyo, Japan
Political party Constitutional Democratic
Other political
affiliations
Alma mater Keio University
Website Official website

Akira Nagatsuma (長妻 昭, Nagatsuma Akira, born June 14, 1960) is a Japanese politician of the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, a member of House of Representatives in the Diet (national legislature). Nagatsuma is currently the deputy leader and the head of the Tokyo chapter of the CDP.[1] He had served as the Minister of Health, Labour, and Welfare in the Hatoyama and Kan administration. He came to prominence when he reported missing records of public pension plans.[2] A native of Nerima, Tokyo and graduate of Keio University, he was elected for the first time in 2000 after unsuccessful runs in 1995 and 1996.

Political career[edit]

DPJ years[edit]

Nagatsuma gained nationwide prominence after exposing scandals involving Japan's bureaucracy, including widespread mishandling of the national pension records and the misuse of public funds for kickbacks. He earned the nickname Mr Pension for his investigations into these scandals.[2]

His experience and expertise on pensions led him to be appointed to the Health, Labour, and Welfare Ministry during the administrations of Prime Ministers Yukio Hatoyama and Naoto Kan. After Prime Minister Kan's first cabinet reshuffle, he moved to the DPJ party leadership and became the first vice secretary-general of the party. He continued to be active in the Diet after leaving his cabinet post and became the chairman of the Welfare and Labour Committee in the House of Representatives in 2012.

In December the same year, a general election was held and the LDP returned into power. Amidst large swings against the DPJ, Nagatsuma managed to hold his seat. Nagatsuma and Akihisa Nagashima were the only DPJ representatives in Tokyo to win single-seat constituencies in the election. Nagashima was defeated in his district in 2014, leaving Nagatsuma as the only DPJ member with a constituency seat in Tokyo.

Nagatsuma continued to rise through the ranks of the party after the 2012 defeat. He became DPJ's deputy secretary-general in May 2013.[3] After then-party leader Banri Kaieda was defeated in the 2014 election, Nagatsuma entered the race to succeed him, but lost to Katsuya Okada. Okada then appointed Nagatsuma to be the party's deputy leader, a position he held even after the merger with Japan Innovation Party.[4]

After the election of Seiji Maehara as a president of the post-merger Democratic Party (DP) in September 2017, Nagatsuma was appointed as the party's election campaign committee and its Tokyo chapter chairman.[5][6]

Formation of the CDP[edit]

Less than three weeks after the conclusion of the leadership race, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called for a snap general election in October. Earlier on the day of the PM's declaration, Tokyo governor Yuriko Koike formed Kibō no Tō, intended to be a conservative alternative to the LDP. Many conservative-leaning DP members migrated en masse to Kibō after Maehara allowed DP members to run in the election under Kibō's banner. However, Koike imposed an ideological test that effectively barred liberal DP members from joining Kibō. This spurred DP deputy president Yukio Edano to form the CDP just three weeks before the election. Nagatsuma, a founding member, was tapped as the party's deputy leader.[7]

The burgeoning CDP campaign received a surge of support in the run-up to election day. CDP made significant gains in the election across the country, becoming the country's largest opposition party. The surge was also replicated in Tokyo, where the campaign was led by Nagatsuma. LDP's majorities were cut in seats where CDP were contesting. Some were overturned, as in the case of former DPJ leaders Kan and Kaieda, who contested under the CDP banner and regained their seats.[8] After the election, Nagatsuma became the CDP's Tokyo chapter head.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "立憲、東京都連設立へ 週明けにも 民進離党組、合流か" [DP council members will split and join the CDP at the establishment of the party's Tokyo chapter] (in Japanese). Asahi Shimbun. 1 December 2017. Retrieved 3 December 2017. 
  2. ^ a b Norimitsu Onishi, The New York Times, July 19, 2008: No Longer a Reporter, but a Muckraker Within Japan’s Parliament
  3. ^ "幹事長代行を4人に 民主、参院選へ強化" (in Japanese). MSN Japan. Archived from the original on 2013-05-28. Retrieved 2017-12-16. 
  4. ^ Kyodo (20 January 2015). "Hosono, Nagatsuma, Renho named as DPJ executives". Japan Times. Retrieved 16 December 2017. 
  5. ^ "Ex-prosecutor to be tapped for Democratic Party's No. 2 slot" (in Japanese). Asahi Shimbun. 2017-09-03. Retrieved 2017-12-16. 
  6. ^ "民進都連 - 会長に長妻氏正式選出 臨時大会" (in Japanese). Mainichi Shimbun. 2017-09-13. Retrieved 2017-12-16. 
  7. ^ "立民 長妻代表代行 希望との連携に否定的" (in Japanese). NHK. Archived from the original on 2017-10-07. Retrieved 2017-12-16. 
  8. ^ Martin, Alex; Kikuchi, Daisuke (22 October 2017). "Top opposition forces see contrasting fates after poll". Japan Times. Retrieved 13 December 2017. 

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Yōichi Masuzoe
Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare of Japan
2009–2010
Succeeded by
Ritsuo Hosokawa
House of Representatives of Japan
Preceded by
Shigeru Kasuya
Representative for Tokyo's 7th district
2000–2005
Succeeded by
Fumiaki Matsumoto
Preceded by
N/A
Representative for the Tōkyō PR block
2005–2009
Succeeded by
N/A
Preceded by
Fumiaki Matsumoto
Representative for Tokyo's 7th district
2009–
Incumbent