Zenko Suzuki

Zenko Suzuki

Suzuki, Zenko, 1911-2004, Japanese politican. A founder of the ruling Liberal Democratic party (1955), he became prime minister on the death of Masayoshi Ohira (1980). Criticism from within the party and a failure to reinvigorate the economy resulted in his resignation (1982). He was succeeded by Yasuhiro Nakasone.

Zenko Suzuki (鈴木 善幸 Suzuki Zenkō; January 11,1911July 19,2004) was a Japanese politician and the 70th Prime Minister of Japan from July 17, 1980 to November 27, 1982.

Suzuki graduated from Tokyo University of Fisheries in 1935. He joined the Liberal Party in 1948, and helped merged it with another right of center party to establish the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) in 1955.

Suzuki was appointed Prime Minister following the sudden death of Masayoshi Ohira, who died of a heart attack during a general election campaign. The sympathy vote generated by Ohira's death resulted in a landslide for the ruling LDP, handing Suzuki the largest parliamentary majority any Prime Minister had enjoyed for many years. He chose not to run for reelection to the presidency of the LDP in 1982, and was succeeded by Yasuhiro Nakasone.

He served during a period of instability; Cabinet members frequently changed, and parties were often split by fractional politics. His diplomatic skills allowed him to chair his party's executive council ten times, winning him support in his early career. Despite his foreign policy gaffes as prime minister, he later helped further foreign relations with the United States, during a 1988 summit with Ronald Reagan.

He was born in Yamada, Iwate and died at the International Medical Center of Japan, in Tokyo of pneumonia. His son Shunichi Suzuki currently serves in the Diet.


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