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PROFILE: Reconstruction minister Watanabe is ex-taxi company exec

  • October 2, 2018
  • , Kyodo News , 06:13 p.m.
  • English Press

TOKYO – Hiromichi Watanabe, tapped to head recovery efforts from the 2011 earthquake and tsunami that devastated northeastern Japan as reconstruction minister, ran a taxi company before turning to politics.

 

The 68-year-old also worked for nine years in the Matsudo city hall and had a brief stint as a member of the Chiba prefectural assembly prior to winning a seat in the House of Representatives in 1996.

 

Watanabe later rose to senior vice minister of economy, trade and industry, but lost his seat in the 2009 lower house election, becoming a casualty of the Liberal Democratic Party’s resounding defeat.

 

He was re-elected in 2012 and served as chairman of the health, labor and welfare committee at the lower chamber, where he sustained a neck injury in 2015 during a scuffle with opposition lawmakers.

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