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Yasuhiro Nakasone
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World Leader
    (May 27, 1918-November 29, 2019)
    Born in Takasaki, Japan
    Prime Minister of Japan (1982-89)
    Member of the Japanese Diet (1947-2004)
    Member of the Liberal Democratic Party
    He was nicknamed ‘the weathervane’ for his tendency to switch factions within the LDP.
    He repeatedly tried without success to amend Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution (in which Japan renounced war as a means of settling international disputes).
    His visit to the Yasukini shrine, which includes over 1,000 convicted war criminals among the military personnel that it commemorates, triggered protests from other Asian countries and rioting in China (1985).
    He said that Americans were less intelligent than the Japanese because ‘the US has many immigrants, Puerto Ricans and blacks, who bring the average level down.’ (1986)
    He was one of several prominent Japanese politicians implicated in an insider trading scandal (1988).
    He was married to Tsutako Nakasone for 67 years.
    He was the first Japanese Prime Minister to visit South Korea.
    He improved relations with the Soviet Union and China without alienating the US.
    He pushed through the privatization of the state-owned monopolies on tobacco, telecommunications, and railways.

Credit: C. Fishel

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