Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
He was born in Shimane Prefecture and attended Waseda University. In 1958, he entered the lower house of the Diet of Japan, joining the powerful faction of Kakuei Tanaka in the Liberal Democratic Party. Takeshita eventually became Tanaka's primary fundraiser, traveling the country to garner support for the LDP's coffers. Like Tanaka, Takeshita was fond of "pork barrel" politics, retaining his own seat by bringing excessively huge public works projects to Shimane.
Takeshita served as Chief Cabinet Secretary from 1971 to 1974, as Minister of Construction in 1976, and as Minister of Finance from 1979 to 1980 and from 1982 to 1986 (in which capacity he became famous for signing the Plaza Accord).
By 1985, Takeshita's power within the party had eclipsed Tanaka's, and he was able to win enough support to defeat Tanaka as the head of the LDP's largest faction. In 1987, he became prime minister. The Recruit scandal forced Takeshita to resign in 1989: although Takeshita was accused of insider trading and corruption, he was never charged and was able to retain his seat in the Diet until shortly before his death.
He remained a major behind-the-scenes player in the LDP, mentoring future prime ministers Sosuke Uno, Toshiki Kaifu, and Keizo Obuchi. He died of respiratory failure in 2000 after over a year in hospital.
|Prime Minister of Japan|
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