Yasuo Tanaka

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Yasuo Tanaka

Yasuo Tanaka ( Japanese 田中 康夫 Tanaka Yasuo ; born April 12, 1956 in Musashino ) is a Japanese writer and politician . Tanaka was Governor of Nagano Prefecture from 2000 to 2006 and Member of the House of Lords from 2007 to 2009, and of the House of Commons from 2009 to 2012 . From 2005 he led the New Japan Party ( Shintō Nippon ). Most recently he ran unsuccessfully as a candidate for the Osaka Ishin no Kai in Tokyo Prefecture for the House of Lords.

Crystal kids

Tanaka became famous as a writer in Japan in 1979 with his first work Kristall-Kids ( な ん と な く ク リ ス タ ル , nantonaku kurisutaru , German "somehow crystal", published as Kristall-Kids by Krüger 1990, ISBN 3810520055 ). Kristall-Kids set many stylistic standards for the social development in Japan of the heated bubble economy , which began in the 1980s with a greed for prestigious brand names as status symbols, the fixation on wealth and a vain decadence.

Kristall-Kids describes the everyday life of a Japanese student from a first-person perspective. In an interview that Tanaka gave for the German edition of his book, he explained that it was not so much his own experiences, but the observation of fellow students during his studies at Hitotsubashi University and the imagination of what the life of these students would look like. inspired the book. The middle third of the book describes sex that the student has in a love hotel exclusively and in detail .

Above all groundbreaking are the constant and precise references to things and behaviors that were “in” at the time the book was written, to cigarettes, eating manners, styles of clothing or pieces of music. In an idea that was revolutionary for a novel, the Japanese edition is structured in such a way that the actual plot is told on the right-hand pages of the book, while on the left-hand pages there are practical references to the novel linked by footnotes, e.g. For example, hundreds of addresses of clothes shops or cafés that the protagonist is visiting, the price of a certain brand of cigarette the protagonist is smoking, or the Japanese translation of an English song that the protagonist is listening to. In the German edition, the footnotes were often translated with an ironic distance, corresponding to the chronological and geographical distance to the original edition.

This view of "I have to imitate the external living conditions of someone cool to be cool myself" represents the attitude to life of many Japanese. The influence of the book on Japanese society can be seen, for example, in the inconvenient spaghetti dishes in Japan Always served with a fork, but without a spoon (or knife). This custom can be traced back to a footnote in Kristall-Kids , in which Tanaka notes during a scene in a restaurant that in Italy itself you never get a spoon with spaghetti.

Other novels

As a result, Tanaka wrote four more novels that are primarily about sex. He also published his experiences as a volunteer at the Kobe earthquake and as governor in essay form.

Political career

Tanaka was elected on October 26, 2000 as an independent candidate for governor of Nagano Prefecture, where he had spent most of his school years. His election came against the declared opposition of the national governing parties LDP and Kōmeitō and local business associations, who publicly accused him of lack of experience. When he took office, he was the youngest governor in the country and the first Nagano governor in 41 years who had not previously been a civil servant.

As governor, Tanaka relied on high-profile measures to prove that he embodied a new style of politics: he worked in a glass office to demonstrate transparency, launched a (successful) hacker attack on the controversial national registration database to prove its security deficiencies, and abolished the Nagano Correspondents ' Club, which controls journalists' access to politicians. He achieved measurable success in the field of prefectural finance, for five consecutive years he was able to reduce the amount of outstanding prefectural loans by reforming the administration and reducing infrastructure projects. The most controversial project was the halt to construction of the Shimosawa dam - requested by the economy and decided by the prefectural parliament - which he announced in 2001 in a Declaration of "No More Dams" . Tanaka also called for a nationwide review of dams and referendums provided for by Japanese law at the municipal and prefectural levels. In response to the moratorium on dam construction, part of the administration opposed him, leading officials resigned, citing the governor's policies.

Tanaka resigned after a vote of no confidence by the prefectural parliament in 2002. In the resulting new election, Tanaka ran again and was re-elected governor with a clear lead of 400,000 votes over Keiko Hasegawa. He remained in office until the August 6, 2006 gubernatorial election, which he narrowly lost to his opponent Jin Murai .

In 2007 Tanaka was elected to the Sangiin by proportional representation, and in 2009 he resigned to run for the Shūgiin election in 2009 in the 8th constituency of Hyōgo , the constituency of Tetsuzō Fuyushiba ( Kōmeitō ). He was able to beat Fuyushiba and joined the faction of the Democratic Party in the Shūgiin , which he later left and formed a factional community with the New People's Party , the coalition partner of the Democrats. In 2012 Tanaka dissolved this too and took an opposition stance to the Noda cabinet.

In the Shūgiin election in 2012, he was defeated in the constituency Hyōgo 8 clear Hiromasa Nakano (Kōmeitō). Since he was the only national member of his party in the end, it also lost its legal status as a political party .

Tanaka ran for Ōsaka Ishin no Kai in the 2016 Sangiin election in Tokyo Prefecture (six seats), received 7.5% of the votes and thus narrowly missed the sixth seat, the incumbent Toshio Ogawa ( Minshintō ) with 8.2 % won.

Web links

Commons : Yasuo Tanaka  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Japan Times, February 21, 2001: Nagano dam projects facing ax
  2. Japan Times, Editorial, August 10, 2006: Nagano bids maverick goodbye
  3. Declaration of "No More Dams" from 2001 ( Memento from June 18, 2004 in the Internet Archive ) (English translation)
  4. Japan Times, July 9, 2002: A maverick among conservatives
  5. Japan Times, September 3, 2002: Tanaka hopes to mend ties with those who ousted him
  6. Ex-gov. Tanaka challenges a New Komeito stronghold. In: The Japan Times . August 17, 2009, accessed August 30, 2009 .
  7. Yomiuri Shimbun : 2016 election results for Sangiin, majority election, Tokyo Prefecture
predecessor Office successor
Gorō Yoshimura Governor of Nagano
Jin Murai