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|Minister of State for Okinawa and Northern Territories Affairs|
11 September 1997 –30 July 1998
|Prime Minister||Ryutaro Hashimoto|
|Preceded by||Jitsuo Inagaki|
|Succeeded by||Kichio Inoue|
|Member of the House of Representatives|
12 June 2005 –15 September 2010
|Succeeded by||Takahiro Asano|
19 December 1983 –10 October 2003
|Constituency|| Hokkaido PR (1996–2003)|
|Born||31 January 1948|
|Political party||New Party Daichi|
| Independent (2010–2017, 2002–2005)|
|Relatives||Takako Suzuki (daughter)|
|Alma mater||Takushoku University|
Muneo Suzuki (鈴木 宗男 Suzuki Muneo, born 31 January 1948) is a Japanese politician from Ashoro, Hokkaidō. He is typically referred to as "Muneo", because his last name, "Suzuki", is one of the most common names in Japan.
He graduated from the Department of Political Science at Takushoku University in 1970, and before he graduated he began working for Ichirō Nakagawa, a Japanese member of the House of Representatives. Nakagawa committed suicide in a hotel in January 1983 for unknown reasons. Suzuki hoped to run for his seat, but Ichirō's son Shōichi Nakagawa, a Tokyo native, moved to Hokkaidō to run for his father's seat, and Suzuki successfully ran for a seat in a neighboring district. He was elected in December 1983 as a member of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP).
Takushoku University is a private university in Japan. It was founded in 1900 by Duke Taro Katsura (1848–1913). It is in Tokyo and has two campuses: the main campus in the Bunkyō district and a satellite campus in Hachiōji city. Takushoku University has five faculties: Commerce, Political Science and Economics, Foreign Languages, International Studies, and Engineering.
Ichiro Nakagawa was a Japanese politician from Hokkaidō. He committed suicide at a hotel in Sapporo after he was defeated in the presidency election of the LDP—losing the chance to become prime minister.
Shōichi Nakagawa was a Japanese conservative politician in the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), who served as Minister of Finance from 24 September 2008 to 17 February 2009. He previously held the posts of Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry and Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries in the cabinet of Junichiro Koizumi. He was regarded as one of Japan's most attractive public figures. On 4 October 2009, he was found dead in his Tokyo apartment. The cause of his death is yet to be determined; although no suicide note was found, there was also no indication of foul play.
He was appointed Head of the Hokkaido Development Agency and the Okinawa Development Agency in 1997 and later as Vice Minister of the Cabinet of Prime Minister Keizō Obuchi.
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In 1999, while Suzuki was the Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary to the former Prime Minister Obuchi, he pressured the Foreign Ministry to fund the Japanese-Russia Friendship House (nicknamed the "Muneo House"), which became a scandal in 2002 when it was revealed.
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He left the LDP in 2002 and was arrested later that year for suspicion of accepting bribes from two Hokkaidō companies.He did not run for reelection in the 2003 elections on the stated grounds that he was undergoing surgery to treat stomach cancer. His secretary Akira Miyano was convicted of bribery in 2003, and Muneo was convicted of taking the bribes, failure to declare political donations, and perjury and sentenced to two years in prison and fined ¥11 million in November 2004. He remained free and in office as he appealed the conviction.
Muneo ran for the House of Councillors in 2004. He was defeated, but ran successfully for the House of Representatives of Japan in the 11 September 2005 elections after forming the New Party Daichi. He is the only elected member of the party.
On 7 September 2010, the Supreme Court of Japan unanimously upheld Suzuki's conviction and sentence. In response, Suzuki stated that he would file a complaint against the ruling. If the complaint is rejected, Suzuki will be removed from office and the fine and prison sentence will take effect. He would also be banned from running for public office for five years after completion of the prison sentence.Suzuki was paroled on 6 December 2011 after serving one year of prison in Tochigi Prefecture.
His ban from running from public office expired on 30 April 2017, allowing him to run again for election. He ran in the 2017 general election as the head of the NPD list for the Hokkaido PR block but was not elected.
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Masayoshi Ōhira was a Japanese politician and the 43rd Prime Minister of Japan from 7 December 1978 to 12 June 1980. Ōhira was the most recent Japanese prime minister to die in office.
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