Tomiichi Murayama

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Tomiichi Murayama (村山 富市 Murayama Tomi'ichi, born March 3, 1924) was the 81st Prime Minister of Japan from June 30, 1994 to January 11, 1996 and was replaced by Ryutaro Hashimoto.

He was the head of the Japan Socialist Party, which was renamed Social Democratic Party in 1996.

He was born in Oita Prefecture. His father was a fisherman. Murayama graduated from the Meiji University. He was appointed secretary of labor union in his comany and entered the Japan Socialist Party, which his union supported.

He began his political career as a representative of Oita municipal diet in 1955. He was elected three times. In 1963 his supporters urged him to be a candidate of Oita prefectural diet. He was elected three times successively. On December, 1972 he was elected to the House of Representatives of Japan.

Murayama was known as a tough negotiator with good calm personality. He was not assertive but knew how to make a good compromise. In 1991 he was appointed to the chairman of Diet Affairs Committee of his party, one of eminent posts in Japanese political party. In August 1993 after the general election, Japan Socialist Party joined the cabinet till 1994. In October of this year he was elected the head of the party.

He became Prime Minister on June 30, 1994. The cabinet was based on a coalition of the Japan Socialists Party, the Liberal Democratic Party and the New Party Sakigake.

Because of coalition and his character, his leadership was not strong. His party had opposed to the Security Pact between Japan and the United State, but he stated that this pact accorded the Constitution of Japan and disappointed many socialist supporters. His government was criticised for not dealing quickly with the earthquake of Kobe, that hit Japan on January 17, 1995. Two months after, on March 10, the Sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway by the Aum Shinrikyo cult happened also during his government.

As the prime minister, he apologised for the atrocities committed during World War II.

In 1996 at the General Election, his party lost many seats of the House of Representatives. He expressed the will of resignment from the prime minister office, but his supporters opposed. Some months later he resigned and was replaced by Ryutaro Hashimoto, the head of the Liberal Democratic Party.

In 2000 he retired as a politician.

See also

Preceded by:
Tsutomu Hata
Prime Minister of Japan
Succeeded by:
Ryutaro Hashimoto
ko:무라야마 도미이치

ja:村山富市 zh:村山富市



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