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Mori Yoshiro

Mori Yoshiro (Japanese: 森 喜朗) (born 14 July 1937) was the Prime Minister of Japan from 5 April 2000 to 26 April 2001.

Yoshiro Mori was born in Ishikawa Prefecture, Japan, as the son of Shigeki and Kaoru Mori, wealthy rice farmers with a history in politics, as both his father and grandfather served as the major of Neagari, Ishikawa prefecture. His mother died when Yoshiro was seven years old.

He studied at the Waseda University in Tokyo, joining the rugby club. Afterwards he joined the Sankei Shimbun, a very conservative newspaper in Japan. In 1962 he left the newspaper and became secretary of a diet member, and in 1969 he was elected in the lower house at age 32. He was reelected 10 consecutive times. In 1980 he was involved in a scandal about receiving unlisted shares of Recruit Cosmos before they were publicly traded, and selling them after they were made public for a profit of approximately 1 million dollar. He was education minister in 1983 and 1984, International trade and industry minister in 1992 and 1993, and construction minister in 1995 and 1996.

His predecessor was Keizo Obuchi, but due to a stroke on April 2 2000, Keizo Obuchi was unable to continue this office. Therefore, the secretary general of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) Yoshiro Mori became the prime minister. His position in Office was marred with a long list of faux-pas, unpopular decisions, PR mistakes and verbal gaffes. One of his biggest public relation disasters was to calmly continue a round of golf after receiving the news that the US submarine USS Greeneville had accidentally hit and sunk the Japanese fishing ship Ehime Maru during an emergency surface drill on February 9 2001, resulting in 9 dead students and teachers. At no time was he really popular, and at the end of his term his approval rating dropped to single digits. He was commonly described as having "the heart of a flea and the brain of a shark".

He was replaced by Koizumi Junichiro on April 26, 2001. Yoshiro Mori is married to his wife Chieko (born: Chieko Maki), a fellow Waseda University student, and he has a son, Yuuki Mori, and a daughter, Yoko Fujimoto.


PM Mori meets w/ George W. Bush in the Oval Office (March 2001).

See also

Preceded by:
Obuchi Keizo
Prime ministers of Japan Succeeded by:
Koizumi Junichiro