Prime Minister Taro Aso of Japan

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Taro Aso was born on 20 September 1940 in Iizuka, Fukuoka Prefecture.
Life - Aso was on the Japanese shooting team at the 1976 Montreal Olympics.
Aso is a frequent reader of manga, said to read around 10-20 volumes a week, and is particularly known as a fan of Rozen Maiden (leading him to be dubbed Rozen Aso.
In the Diet - Aso is a member of the Kono Faction, an LDP group led by Yohei Kono (the politician who recognised the comfort women issue in his Kono Statement.
Taro Aso was elected to the Diets Lower House (House of Representatives) in October 1979 and has been re-elected eight times.
In March 1999, Aso was Deputy Secretary-General of the LDP, and in October 1999, he became Deputy Chairman of the Policy Research Council, which he held until July 2000.
In the Executive - In November 1996, Aso was made Minister of State in Economic Planning Agency by Ryutaro Hashimoto, which he held until Sep 1997.
During the leadership contest within the LDP following the stepping-down of Koizumi, Aso was a candidate running against Shinzo Abe.
It is safe to say that Taro Aso was handed a political destiny, it only remains to be seen how far he will go.
Now that Aso is on the brink of becoming Prime Minister, and as I have allowed that site to fall.
Aso said he will pursue a new law or other options to continue the mission beyond the Nov 1 legal deadline, noting that simply seeking an extension of the current special antiterrorism law is quite difficult due to strong rejection by the opposition side.
The dovish Fukuda favors promoting amicable relations with neighboring countries, while the hawkish Aso is known for his conservative views and controversial remarks that have angered China.
Taro Aso is a politician born and bred.
Love him or hate him, Aso is here to stay.
Aso has finally climbed to the top of the greasy pole.
Taro Aso was given a poison chalice in the leadership at such a difficult time for the LDP and he seems to be doing everything he can.
Taro Aso was widely expected to clinch the race in the first round.
Because the party holds a majority in the lower house of Parliament, Aso is all but assured of becoming the country's next prime minister when Parliament votes for one on Wednesday.
Andrei Fesyun, head of the RIA Novosti bureau in Tokyo) - After Prime Minister Yasuo Fukudas abrupt resignation, opinion polls in Japan have shown that 67 year-old Taro Aso is his most likely successor.
A former foreign minister and chief Cabinet secretary, Aso is now the secretary-general of the ruling Liberal-Democratic Party (LDP.
Aso is a wealthy man (the Aso-Cement company has been an industry leader since 1930), and comes from a prominent political family.
On September 22, 2008, Aso was elected to succeed Yasuo Fukuda as President of the LDP.
Aso joined his father's company in 1966, and served as president of the Asō Mining Company from 1973 to 1979.
Aso was one of the final candidates to replace Koizumi as prime minister in 2006, but lost the internal party election to Shinzo Abe by a wide margin.
Aso was initially considered to be a leading candidate for the position but was soon eclipsed by Yasuo Fukuda, a more "dovish" politician supported by Nobutaka Machimura, Fukushiro Nukaga, and reportedly by Koizumi as well.
Aso was elected as President of LDP with 351 of 525 votes (217 from 384 Diet party members, 134 from 47 prefecture branches); Kaoru Yosano, Yuriko Koike, Nobuteru Ishihara, Shigeru Ishiba got 66, 46, 37, 25 votes respectively.
Two days later on September 24, Aso was designated by the Diet as Prime Minister, and was formally appointed to the office by the Emperor on that night.
Aso is a fan of manga since childhood.
Aso has allegedly been witnessed reading the manga "Rozen Maiden" in Tokyo International Airport.
While Christians only account for around 1% of the Japanese, Aso is already the second christian post-war prime minister of Japan after Masayoshi Ohira (Anglican, 1979-1980.
On occasion of his 2009 new year visit to the Shintoist Ise Shrine, Aso has publicly performed the hand-clapping in front of the shrine, stating later that he had "prayed for the good of the Japanese people.
Members of Japan's ruling party have selected a bluff conservative, Taro Aso, as their new leader, meaning he is almost certain to become the next PM.
Mr Aso received 351 out of the 527 votes cast by MPs and members of regional chapters, party election chief Hideo Usui announced after voting.
But Mr Aso is widely predicted to put his leadership quickly to the test with a general election.
Less than three months after taking office, Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso is watching his poll numbers plummet.
In recent months, Mr Aso has accused doctors of lacking common sense, criticised parents and made contradictory policy statements.
Taro Aso is not alone; there is an established tradition of gaffes from Japan's leading lawmakers.
Almost as soon as Mr Aso took office, his tourism minister, Nariaki Nakayama, had to resign after calling Japan an "ethnically homogeneous" country that did not like foreigners.
If Aso is upsetting them, that's problematic for the party.
Aso has repeatedly come under fire for gaffes and lack of leadership through the global economic crisis.
Aso has kept mum over the latest embarrassment.
I was only 5 at the time, and I have no personal memory of that," Aso said at the time.
Aso was not present at the upper house committee meeting.
Despite having announced a record budget for the fiscal year starting in April and two other extra budgets for the current year, Aso has been criticized by the opposition and even by lawmakers within his party over how the money will be spent.
TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso said on Monday he would not resign despite a series of public opinion polls showing support.
Resembling some classic gaffes by US.
Angus Reid Global Monitor) - Popular support for the administration of Japanese prime minister Taro Aso has continued to plummet, according to a poll by Nikkei.
Angus Reid Global Monitor) - The cabinet of Japanese prime minister Taro Aso is facing harsh criticism, according to a poll by Asahi.
Angus Reid Global Monitor) - The government of Taro Aso is losing support in Japan, according to a poll by Tokyo Broadcasting System.
Angus Reid Global Monitor) - Many Japanese adults would keep incumbent Taro Aso as head of government, according to a poll by Yomiuri.
election - and referencing comics is one of his favorite ways.
Old Guard: Taro Aso received applause in Tokyo Monday after his election as Liberal Democratic Party President.
economy speaks with a steady voice at a time of global financial turmoil and pressing diplomatic concerns.
Going to Aso is part of fighting generational change in the party.
economy, but warning that the country "must not allow to bring US down as well.
Aso is also seen as favoring a more diplomatically vocal Japan, and has a hawkish bent.
With his personality, Aso has a shot.
Taro Aso is the hawish Foreign Minister of Japan as of late 2005 and early 2006.
Aso is a virtual prince of the Japanese political class.
Aso is a graduate of the Faculty of Politics and Economics at Gakushuin University.
Aso was elected as a member of the Japanese House of Representatives in October 1979, and has since been re-elected eight times.
On February 4, 2006, Aso is reported to have said that, "our predecessors did a good thing" regarding compulsory education implemented during Japan's colonization of Taiwan.
Mr Aso has also discovered international obligations.
Mr Aso has long been a fairly popular politician for getting out and shaking hands.
Mr Aso is wealthy and likes the high life.
Now, Mr Aso has enough time to pass the bill by using the governments supermajority in the lower house before the current mission expires in mid-January.
Aso remained a viable contender for the LDP leadership.
Aso has been working to position himself as that savior.
Aso has made this transformation known with two highly publicized articles in major monthlies (these articles directly prompted the Yukan Fuji cover story.
Aso is once again ready to lead his partyif only the party will have him.
To supporters, Aso is a veteran lawmaker and former president of a cement company who will bring a steady hand to the tiller at a time when Japan faces the threat of recession at home and turmoil in global financialmarkets.
To critics, Aso is a throwback to the partys big-spending ways who threatens to reverse a decade of reforms that shrank government and partially freed Japans economy.
Aso has also drawn criticism for such apparent slips of the tongue as crediting Japanese colonial-era policies for Taiwans current high education levels, and for saying that Koreans actually requested Japans colonial policy of forcing Koreans to adopt Japanesenames.
Despite his conservative personal views, Aso is widely seen here by foes and friends alike as a pragmatist who shuns a rigidly right-wing agenda.
As prime minister, Aso is expected to continue to seek improvement of Japans often testy ties with China and South Korea.
Indeed, Aso takes office at a time when Japan, the worlds second-largest economy after the United States, has played a bit role in the response to Wall Streets housing-related meltdown.
Japan has so far been relatively unscathed by the unfolding financial crisis, and Aso has indicated that his main response will be stimulating the Japanese economy to buoy the globaleconomy.
According to Observing Japan, Taro Aso has been letting the people know what books hes reading these days.
on Tuesday, December 2nd, 2008 at 2:34 pm and is filed under Books, Politics.
Taro Aso came in second and Finance Minister Sadakazu Tanigaki came in third.
And Taro Aso is proud of JCI, an organization that helped him become an exceptional and outspoken leader.
In spite of his numerous and pressing obligations, Aso has taken the time again and again to meet with past and current JCI officers to talk about the organization’s plans.
In January 2006, for example, Aso received JCI President Lars Hajslund, Secretary General Edson A.
Prime Minister Aso was a member of JCI Iizuka and became JCI Japan President in 1978.
The outspoken, sometimes quirky nationalist is known for various blunders as a foreignminister.
A career government official who studied at Stanford and in London, Aso has shrugged off criticism that he is too hawkish.
Aso has held four cabinet posts, including that of foreign minister.
An often-quirky character whose nationalistic platform has been popular with both the young and the old, Aso is a former Olympian in clay-target shooting and professes to be a big fan of Japanese manga comic books.
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Taro Aso is Japan's Foreign Minister and the secretary-general of the country's ruling Liberal Democratic Party.
Aso was Yasuo Fukuda's main political rival within the party and is known for his conservative nationalistic views, especially towards China and North Korea.
FUKUOKA (Kyodo) Internal Affairs and Communications Minister Taro Aso has called Japan a "one race" nation, an expression similar to a controversial statement in 1986 by then Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone, sources close to the minister said Monday.
In a speech during a ceremony at the new Kyushu National Museum in Dazaifu, Fukuoka Prefecture, on Saturday, the sources said Aso described Japan as having "one nation, one civilization, one language, one culture and one race.
Taro Aso took office today as Japan's fourth prime minister in just 2 years, and the hawkish new leader appointed several long-time supporters to serve with him in cabinet.
Japan's two biggest political parties hold annual conventions this weekend and here's what's on the plate: The world's second-largest economy is tanking, the ruling bloc is struggling to avert a meltdown and Prime Minister Taro Aso is so unpopular that voters increasingly want his main rival to take over.
Japan, SKorea vow to lead world economic recoveryJan 11 - By Jae-Soon Chang, Associated Press WriterSouth Korea and Japan must lead Asia in driving the world's economic recovery and should work together to rid North Korea of nuclear weapons, Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso said Monday.
Japan's PM says he is not planning snap electionDec 23 - By Eric Talmadge, Associated Press WriterJapan's Prime Minister Taro Aso said Wednesday he would not call a snap election despite opposition demands, saying he needs to focus on the country's sputtering economy.
Poll: Support for Japan PM falls to 46 percentOct 12 - By Associated PressTepid public support for Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso has fallen further in the weeks since he took office and voters now want help for the country's economy to take priority over domestic politics, according to a poll published Monday.
Japan's PM says US bank bailout is 'insufficient'Oct 10 - By Shino Yuasa, Associated Press WriterJapanese Prime Minister Taro Aso said Thursday the US.
Polls: New Japanese PM starts with low supportSep 25 - By Associated PressPublic support for Japan's new Prime Minister Taro Aso is the lowest of any newly appointed prime minister in eight years, according to several newspaper polls published Friday.
auJapan's Prime Minister Taro Aso is again under pressure over a family connection to Australian Prisoners of War (POW) being used as labourers in Japan during World War II.
On the economy, Aso has said little and backed away from government targets to balance the budget.
Though he just took office, Aso is likely to face a constitutionally mandated election within months.
Pretty much all Aso has proposed is a series of tax cuts for businesses to stimulate the economy.
Okada says what Japan really needs are measures such as free-trade agreements and agricultural reform—things to which Aso has given short shrift.
company used prisoners of war as slave labourers during the Second World War.
Taro Aso said new documents showed captured serviceman, including Britons, were forced to work in mines.
Despite evidence showing the mining company, based in southern Japan, put 101 British prisoners, 197 Australians and two Dutch soldiers to work digging coal, Mr Aso has previously refused to accept that anything untoward happened.
Mr Aso was also forced to defend himself from suggestions that he instructed the Foreign Ministry in 2006 to post a denial on the home page of the Japanese Embassy in the United States after The International Herald Tribune printed a story stating that Aso Mining had forced Allied POWs to work in its mines.
Mr Aso was foreign minister at the time and the ministry stated that the report was "unreasonable.
Japan shall be the first in the world to extricate itself from recession, Mr Aso said in his New Year address, following on Sunday with the observation: Pessimism comes from our passions, optimism from the will.
Constrained like his predecessors by Japan's massive existing public borrowings, a net debt-to-GDP ratio exceeding 140 per cent, Mr Aso has tried to apply strategic dabs of public works stimulus, credit support for small-to-medium business and social protection for the recently unemployed.
THE chalice finally being passed to Taro Aso, who today will be endorsed by Japan's House of Representatives as the country's 59th prime minister, is brimming with poison.
Twenty years ago he became the LDP's secretary-general, when Aso had achieved a mere vice-ministry, and was regarded as an inevitable prime minister.
If it's possible, Aso is an even odder mixture of characteristics.
People say Taro Aso is a member of the hawkish faction, he told foreign correspondents last week.
From here you can use the Social Web links to save Japanese PM Taro Aso takes a bitter cup to a social bookmarking site.
Aso is expected to dissolve the Parliament's Lower House and call for a general election by the end of October, a move that would allow the LDP to capitalize on Aso's popularity and the honeymoon period that new prime ministers often enjoy.
TOKYO, Jan 1 (UPI) -- Prime Minister Taro Aso, in a New Year's message, said he will do all he can so Japan becomes the first country to emerge out of the global recession.
Taro Aso is a conservative former foreign minister who clinched the presidency of the ruling party on Monday.
Aso was expected to lose in the upper house, which is controlled by the opposition, but win in the lower house, which has the final say.
TOKYO (AP) Outspoken conservative Taro Aso took power as Japan's prime minister on Wednesday after he overcame opposition forces in the split parliament, tasked with rejuvenating the ailing ruling party ahead of elections.
Aso has said he would refuse to raise the 5% consumption tax for at least the next three years.
Aso has also said that he will continue to place relations with Washington as Japan's top diplomatic priority, while trying to improve ties with neighboring China, whose growing economic and military clout Aso once described as a "major threat.
Members of Japans ruling party have overwhelmingly selected former Foreign Minister Taro Aso as their leader, virtually ensuring he will become the countrys prime minister this week.
Aso says he is ready for the task.
Aso has expressed opposition to many of the privatization and deregulation reforms instituted by former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi.
On the international front, Aso is an outspoken supporter of cooperation with the United States.
that passing a supplementary budget for the current fiscal.
Taro Aso took on the party leadership when the LDP was already haemorrhaging support.
Aso said Japans economy is hit by a tempest that comes once in 100 years and his government would muster all its efforts to help the country weather a financial disaster.
SEOUL, South Korea — South Korea and Japan must lead Asia in driving the worlds economic recovery and should work together to rid North Korea of nuclear weapons, Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso said Monday.
TOKYO (Reuters) - Former foreign minister Taro Aso leads the race to become Japanese prime minister, analysts and media said on Tuesday, after unpopular Yasuo Fukuda became the.