Makiko Tanaka

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Makiko Tanaka
田中 眞紀子
Makiko Tanaka in Hawaii cropped.jpg
Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology
In office
1 October 2012 – 26 December 2012
Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda
Preceded by Masaharu Nakagawa
Succeeded by Hakubun Shimomura
Minister of Foreign Affairs of Japan
In office
Prime Minister Junichirō Koizumi
Preceded by Yōhei Kōno
Succeeded by Junichirō Koizumi
Personal details
Born (1944-01-14) 14 January 1944 (age 73)
Bunkyō, Tokyo, Japan
Nationality Japan
Political party Liberal Democratic Party (until 2003)
Democratic Party of Japan (2009–present, present day Democratic Party (Japan))
Spouse(s) Naoki Suzuki
Children 3
Parents Kakuei Tanaka
Alma mater Waseda University (B.Com.)

Makiko Tanaka (田中 眞紀子, Tanaka Makiko, born in Bunkyō, Tokyo, 14 January 1944) is a Japanese politician. She is the daughter of former Prime Minister Kakuei Tanaka and his official wife Hana.

Early life[edit]

Tanaka attended high school at Germantown Friends School in the United States and graduated from Waseda University. She spent most of her early adulthood working with her father's political machine Etsuzankai, and was first lady to her father since her mother, Hana, was absent due to long-standing illness. She was elected to the Lower House in 1993, shortly after her father's death.[1]

Makiko Tanaka (left) visits with the United States Navy dive team engaged in the salvage and recovery operation of Ehime Maru off Oahu, Hawaii on September 9, 2001.


Tanaka was the first female foreign minister of Japan, from April 2001 to January 2002, but was fired from the cabinet after making remarks critical of Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi. Later that year, she was expelled from the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and barred from party membership for two years.

In August 2002, Tanaka resigned from the Diet after allegations that she had embezzled her secretaries' civil service salaries. A Tokyo court cleared her in September, and she ran for the Diet again as an independent in November 2003.[2]

Her husband Naoki Suzuki, whom she married in 1969 was adopted as an adult into her family, because she has no brothers to carry on the family name.

In August 2009, Tanaka and her husband joined the opposition Democratic Party of Japan.[3] In September 2009 she became the Diet chairperson of the Committee on Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology.[4] In September 2011 she became the Diet chairperson of the Committee on Foreign Affairs. On October 1, 2012, she became Minister of Education, Culture, Science, Sports, and Technology, as part of a reshuffle of the Yoshihiko Noda Cabinet.[5]

On November 2, 2012 she denied applications for three new universities, contradicting a report the previous day that had endorsed the establishment of the universities. It had been 30 years since a minister had contradicted the ministry in such a way.[6] This sparked a large amount of criticism and after pressure from within the DPJ she reversed her decision and approved the applications.[7]

She lost her seat in the December 16, 2012 general election.[8] She left office on 26 December 2012.



Political offices
Preceded by
Mikio Ōmi
Minister of state, director-general of the Science and Technology Agency
Succeeded by
Yasuoki Urano
Preceded by
Yōhei Kōno
Minister of Foreign Affairs of Japan
Succeeded by
Junichiro Koizumi
Preceded by
Takeshi Iwaya
Chair of the House of Representatives Committee on Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology
Succeeded by
Eiko Ishige
Preceded by
Tadamasa Kodaira
Chair of the House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs
Succeeded by
Yoshikatsu Nakayama
Preceded by
Hirofumi Hirano
Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology
Succeeded by
House of Representatives of Japan
Preceded by
Kichinosuke Meguro
Hideo Watanabe
Yukio Hoshino
Shin Sakurai
Tatsuo Murayama
Member of the House of Representatives
from Niigata 3rd district (multi-member)

Served alongside: Yukio Hoshino, Shin Sakurai, Tomio Sakagami, Tatsuo Murayama
District eliminated
New district Member of the House of Representatives
from Niigata 5th district (single-member)

Title next held by
Yukio Hoshino
Preceded by
Yukio Hoshino