On November 29, Former Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone passed away at the age of 101. He was Prime Minister from 1982-1987. He is famous for three things. He implemented administrative reform which resulted in today’s JR, NTT, and JT. He also drastically improved relations between Japan and the US. Under Prime Minister Nakasone, Japan became a central figure at the G7 Summit.
When he became Prime Minister, Japan-US relations were at a very low level. This was partly caused by his predecessor’s remarks that the alliance between Japan and the US had no military aspect. Mr. Nakasone was convinced that in order to improve relations with the US, Japan had to have better relations with surrounding countries. He chose the Republic of Korea as his first country to visit which was unprecedented. He also constructed close relations with Chairman Hu Yaoban of China. The Prime Minister believed that, although it was not too popular, the Japanese people should know that there is a price and cost to maintain the alliance. He was able to keep a firm friendship with President Reagan.
On the basis of this relationship with President Reagan and the US, he tried and succeeded in becoming a central figure at the G7 Summit. His central position in the photo at the Williamsburg Summit was a pleasant surprise to Japanese people. But more importantly, he was able to halt European countries argument that intermediate range nuclear missiles SS20 should be moved from Europe to the Far East, coming closer to Japan. This was possible with the understanding of President Reagan.
We would like to pay respects to and offer prayers for a leader who formed the basis of Japan-US relations today.
Ichiro Fujisaki President