Japanese Foreign Minister Masayoshi Ohira shown speaking and answering questions at a formal 'Professional Luncheon' given in his honour by The Foreign Press In Japan (FPIJ) at the Foreign Press Club in Tokyo's Moronouchi business district on Monday April 15th.
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ATTN WED: JAPANESE POLITICAL To be used if and when worthy.
ATTENTION WED/FSED: THIS MATERIAL ASSIGNED BY FPO TO BE USED FOR JAPANESE POLITICAL BACKGROUNDER IN THE EVENT OF JAPANESE CABINET RESHUFFLE.
CAN ALSO BE SUED -- IF DEARTH OF OTHER MATERIAL - IN THE EVENT OF A MAJOR STORY BREAKING FROM THE PRESENTLY HOT DOMESTIC STORY OF HE PENDING NEGOTIATIONS BETWEEN JAPAN, CHINA AND TAIWAN CONCERNING THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A DIRECT JAPAN AIRLINES (JAL) AIROUTE BETWEEN TOKYO AND PEKING, THE RESULTANT DEMAND BY PEKING THAT CHINA AIRLINES (CAL) OF TAIWAN WITHDRAW THE USE OF THE TERM 'CHINA' IN ITS AIRLINE TITLE AND CEASE ALL OPERATIONS BETWEEN TAIWAN AND JAPAN, THE ENSUING IRE OF TAIWAN AND PRESSURES ON FM OHIRA TO RESIGN BECAUSE HE GOT JAPAN INTO THE WHOLENESS IN THE FIRST PLACE.
IF STORY BREAKS WILL PROVIDE LIVELIEST POSSIBLE WALLPAPER OF HANEDA AIRPORT WITH JAL PLANES, AND MAYBE TAIWAN CAN DO THE SAME.
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Background: Japanese Foreign Minister Masayoshi Ohira shown speaking and answering questions at a formal 'Professional Luncheon' given in his honour by The Foreign Press In Japan (FPIJ) at the Foreign Press Club in Tokyo's Moronouchi business district on Monday April 15th.
Masayoshi Ohira became Foreign Minister of Japan in July 1972 following the ruling Liberal Democratic Party's (LDP) Party Presidential Elections of that time. The LDP has roled Japan almost continuously since the end of the last war, and Presidential Elections -- which determine the Party President, who is simultaneously Prime Minister, -- are often more important in determining Japanese leadership than the regular parliamentary (Diet) elections.
The present Prime Minister Kakuei Tanaka won the race for the Presidency - and thus the Premiership - in July 1972 and chose Ohira as his Foreign Minister.
Tanaka owes much to the 63-year-old Ohira, who then and now backed Tanaka for the party leadership. Tanaka's other supporter in his tripartite alliance is present Deputy Prime Minister and 'Oil Ambassador' Takeo Miki.
Successful at first, Ohira has recently run into considerable trouble over his foreign policies. He incurred the considerable wrath of LPD right-wing factions -- led by Tanaka's sworn enemy and present Finance Minister Takeo Fukuda -- following his successful engineering of full diplomatic relations between Japan and Peking an the end of 1972.
Since then his every move has been closely watched by the Fukuda faction and its ardent supporters the Seirandie of 'Young Storm Society' -- a group of nationalist and militarist-leaning young right-wing LPD members formed in reaction t the new Japan/China relationship. -- and they have not been slow to pounce on every sign of weakness shown by Tanaka or particularly his Foreign Ministry led by Ohira.
One minor incident concerning the promture announcement of a visit to the United States of Emperor Hi???to was blown t major proportions by the Sierankei, forcing the resignation a few weeks ago of Ohira a Vice Foreign Minister Shinasaku Hogen.
The anti-Tanaka, Ohira, Miki right-wing factions were presented with an even better opportunity when the Mideast oil embargo disrupted Japan's almost 100-percent-imported energy supplies last year. Ohira's Ministry came under considerable fire for failing to force the situation and for omitting to begin early stockpiling.
Ohira suffered et another serious blow for he failure of his embassador to adequately report the extent of anti-Japanese feeling in Asian countries before premier Tanaka's riot-torn tour of Asia in January this year.
Serious as these mistakes are, it is certain that Tanaka's right-wing opposition has been using them to attack what they consider to be the weak link in the Tanaka/Miki/Ohira alliance -- Ohira himself. And the attacks have generally been successful. Japan has been rife with rumours of the impending resignation of Ohira for some months, and there is the chance that Ohira will pull Tanaka down with him.
There have also been well-sourced rumours to the effect that Tanaka will step down from the now-vulnerable Premiership and replace himself with with Takeo Miki or Ohira, in order to avoid a personal confrontation with Fukuda brought on by Japan's present drastic inflation.
Ohira once served as Foreign Minister under the Ikeda Cabinet that preceded the administration of Eisaku Sato. He had previously worked as Cabinet Secretary under the Ikeda cabinet, and also saw a spell of as International Trade and Industry Minister in the Sato Administration.
A former official of the Finance Ministry, Ohira has been elected to the House of Representatives (Parliament) eight times.