|Speaker of the House of Representative of Japan|
19 November 2003 – 21 July 2009
|Prime Minister||Junichirō Koizumi
|Preceded by||Tamisuke Watanuki|
|Succeeded by||Takahiro Yokomichi|
|President of the Japan Association of Athletics Federations|
|Preceded by||Hanji Aoki|
|Succeeded by||Hiroshi Yokokawa|
15 January 1937 |
Hiratsuka, Kanagawa, Japan
|Alma mater||Waseda University|
Yōhei Kōno (河野 洋平 Kōno Yōhei, born 15 January 1937 in Hiratsuka, Kanagawa) is a Japanese politician and a member of the Liberal Democratic Party. He served as Speaker of the House of Representatives from November 2003 until August 2009, when the LDP lost its majority in the 2009 election. Kōno served as speaker for the longest length since the set up of House of Representatives in 1890. He was the president of the Japan Association of Athletics Federations from 1999 to 2013.
He was Deputy Prime Minister from 1994 to 1995. He was Minister of Foreign Affairs under Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama and Murayama's successor Yoshirō Mori. He is a member of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP). He was once President of the LDP from 1993 to 1995, and to date is the only LDP leader except for Sadakazu Tanigaki to have never served as Prime Minister of Japan. As he is one of the pro-Chinese members of the LDP, he came under pressure domestically in the spring of 2005 when anti-Japanese movements in China became intense.
Kōno is well known as a controversial figure within the comfort women debate, for the official statement he made in 1993 , when he was Chief Cabinet Secretary. In his statement, made after historian Yoshiaki Yoshimi announced he had discovered in the Defense Agency library in Tokyo documentary evidence that the Imperial Japanese Army established and ran "comfort stations", he essentially admitted that the Japanese Imperial Army had been involved, directly and indirectly, in the establishment of comfort facilities, and that coercion had been used in the recruitment and retention of the women. His subsequent call for historical research and education aimed at remembering the issue became the basis for addressing the subject of forced prostitution in school history textbooks.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Yohei Kono.|
- "Kono's tenure longest as speaker". The Japan Times. 20 November 2008. Retrieved 22 November 2008.
- The Successive President and Vice-President and Senior-Managing-Director of JAAF (日本陸連歴代会長・理事長・専務理事) (in Japanese) Japan Association of Athletics Federations. Retrieved 13 June 2012.