43 Facts About Shintaro Ishihara

1.

Shintaro Ishihara was a Japanese politician and writer who was Governor of Tokyo from 1999 to 2012.

2.

Shintaro Ishihara resigned from the governorship to briefly co-lead the Sunrise Party, then joined the Japan Restoration Party and returned to the House of Representatives in the 2012 general election.

3.

Shintaro Ishihara unsuccessfully sought re-election in the general election of November 2014, and officially left politics the following month.

4.

Shintaro Ishihara's father Kiyoshi was an employee, later a general manager, of a shipping company.

5.

Just two months before graduation, Shintaro Ishihara won the Akutagawa Prize for the novel Season of the Sun.

6.

Shintaro Ishihara had dabbled in directing a couple of films starring his brother.

7.

Shintaro Ishihara ran a theatre company, and found time to visit the North Pole, race his yacht The Contessa and cross South America on a motorcycle.

8.

Shintaro Ishihara wrote a memoir of his journey, Nanbei Odan Ichiman Kiro.

9.

Shintaro Ishihara was mentored by the influential author and political "fixer" Tsusai Sugawara.

10.

In 1968, Shintaro Ishihara ran as a candidate on the Liberal Democratic Party national slate for the House of Councillors.

11.

Shintaro Ishihara placed first on the LDP list with an unprecedented 3 million votes.

12.

Shintaro Ishihara ran for Governor of Tokyo in 1975 but lost to the popular Socialist incumbent Ryokichi Minobe.

13.

Minobe was 71 at the time, and Shintaro Ishihara criticized him as being "too old".

14.

Shintaro Ishihara returned to the House of Representatives afterward, and worked his way up the party's internal ladder, serving as Director-General of the Environment Agency under Takeo Fukuda and Minister of Transport under Noboru Takeshita.

15.

In 1983 his campaign manager put up stickers throughout Tokyo stating that Shintaro Ishihara's political opponent was an immigrant from North Korea.

16.

Shintaro Ishihara denied that this was discrimination, saying that the public had a right to know.

17.

In 1989, shortly after losing a highly contested race for the party presidency, Shintaro Ishihara came to the attention of the West through his book The Japan That Can Say No, co-authored with Sony chairman Akio Morita.

18.

On 25 October 2012, Shintaro Ishihara announced he would resign as Governor of Tokyo to form a new political party in preparation for upcoming national elections.

19.

Shintaro Ishihara is generally described as having been one of Japan's most prominent extreme right-wing politicians.

20.

Shintaro Ishihara was called "Japan's [Jean-Marie] Le Pen" on a program broadcast on Australia's ABC.

21.

Shintaro Ishihara was affiliated with the openly ultranationalist organization Nippon Kaigi.

22.

Shintaro Ishihara was a long-term friend of the prominent Aquino family in the Philippines.

23.

Shintaro Ishihara is credited with being been the first person to inform future President Corazon Aquino about the assassination of her husband Senator Benigno Aquino Jr.

24.

Shintaro Ishihara was often critical of Japan's foreign policy as being non-assertive.

25.

Shintaro Ishihara was long critical of the government of the People's Republic of China.

26.

Shintaro Ishihara invited the Dalai Lama and the President of the Republic of China Lee Teng-hui to Tokyo.

27.

Shintaro Ishihara was deeply interested in the North Korean abduction issue, and called for economic sanctions against North Korea.

28.

Shintaro Ishihara accepted an invitation to attend the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, and was selected as a torch-bearer for the Japan leg of the 2008 Olympic Torch Relay.

29.

On 9 April 2000, in a speech before a Self-Defense Forces group, Shintaro Ishihara said crimes were repeatedly committed by illegally entered people, using the pejorative term sangokujin, and foreigners.

30.

Shintaro Ishihara speculated that in the event a natural disaster struck the Tokyo area, they would be likely to cause civil disorder.

31.

Shintaro Ishihara's comment invoked calls for his resignation, demands for an apology and fears among residents of Korean descent in Japan, as well as being criticised by the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

32.

On 17 April 2010, Shintaro Ishihara said "many veteran lawmakers in the ruling-coalition parties are naturalized or the offspring of people naturalized in Japan".

33.

Shintaro Ishihara backed the film The Truth about Nanjing, a Japanese film that denies the atrocity, framing it as Chinese propaganda.

34.

Shintaro Ishihara subsequently responded to comments that he did not disrespect French culture by professing his love of French literature on Japanese TV news.

35.

At a Tokyo IOC press briefing in 2009, Governor Shintaro Ishihara dismissed a letter sent by environmentalist Paul Coleman regarding the contradiction of his promoting the Tokyo Olympic 2016 bid as 'the greenest ever' while destroying the forested mountain of Minamiyama, the closest 'Satoyama' to the centre of Tokyo, by angrily stating Coleman was 'Just a foreigner, it does not matter'.

36.

In 2010, Shintaro Ishihara claimed that Korea under Japanese rule was absolutely justified due to historical pressures from Qing dynasty and Imperial Russia.

37.

In reference to the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami and the subsequent Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, Shintaro Ishihara said "that the triple disaster was 'punishment from heaven' because Japanese have become greedy".

38.

The governor of Miyagi expressed displeasure about Shintaro Ishihara's speech, claimed that Shintaro Ishihara should have considered the victims of the disaster.

39.

Shintaro Ishihara has said that Japan ought to have nuclear weapons.

40.

On 15 April 2012, Shintaro Ishihara made a speech in Washington, DC, publicly stating his desire for Tokyo to purchase the Senkaku Islands, called the Diaoyu Islands by mainland China, on behalf of Japan in an attempt to end the territorial dispute between China and Japan, causing uproars in Chinese society and increasing tension between the governments of China and Japan.

41.

Shintaro Ishihara was married to Noriko Shintaro Ishihara and had four sons.

42.

Shintaro Ishihara died at his home in Tokyo on 1 February 2022, at the age of 89.

43.

Shintaro Ishihara acted in six films, including Crazed Fruit and The Hole, and co-directed the 1962 film Love at Twenty.