TOKYO – Naokazu Takemoto, new minister for science and technology policy, led the successful bid by lawmakers from all parties to host the 2025 World Exposition in his native Osaka Prefecture.
The 78-year-old has also called strongly for the high-speed maglev train service, scheduled for 2027 between Tokyo and Nagoya, to be extended to Osaka as early as possible.
Takemoto joined the ministry of construction after graduating from Kyoto University and was transferred to the national land agency before winning his first lower house seat in 1996. He held parliamentary vice minister posts in the early 2000s and was finance spokesman when the Liberal Democratic Party was in opposition.
Takemoto heads an all-party parliamentary group supporting sumo but raised eyebrows when he said sumo wrestlers “cannot do ordinary things as they are big.” He likes golf.