Specialist on the Japanese economy and political landscape
Minister for Financial Services, Economic and Fiscal Policy in Japan (2001-05)
Professor and Director, Global Security Research Institute, Keio University (2007-present)
Heizo Takenaka is a world leading economist, with particular expertise in economic policy. He is Professor and Director of the Global Security Research Institute at Keio University in Japan, and is also currently serving on several advisory boards and committees including: Senior Advisor, Japan Center for Economic Research (JCER); Director, Academyhills and Senior Advisor, Pasona Inc. Professor Takenaka was formerly Minister for Internal Affairs and Communications (2005-06).
Professor Takenaka was chief architect of the Japanese economic structural reform programs under Prime Minister Koizumi. In 2001, Professor Takenaka became Minister for Economic/Fiscal Policy, where he chaired the Council on Economic and Fiscal Policy and steered macroeconomic policy. In 2002, Professor Takenaka was named the Minister for both Financial Services and Economic/Fiscal Policy. In this capacity, he accomplished the disposal of non-performing loans of Japanese banks, which had hindered the Japanese economy for more than 10 years.
In 2004, he was elected to the House of Councilors, and was named the Minister for both Economic/Fiscal Policy and Privatization of the Postal Services. During this time he guided the privatisation of Japan Post, the biggest public enterprise in Japan. In 2005, he was named the Minister for both Internal Affairs and Communication, and Privatization of the Postal Services. The following year, Professor Takenaka returned to academia, leaving both the Cabinet and the House of Councilors when Prime Minister Koizumi resigned.
Professor Takenaka started his academic career in 1981 as a visiting scholar at both Harvard University and University of Pennsylvania. He was named a member of the Economic Strategy Council (advisory board for economic policy to the Prime Minister) in 1998 and a member of the IT Strategy Council (advisory board on IT policy to the Prime Minister) in 2000.
Professor Takenaka is the author of numerous books, including “Contemporary Japanese Economy and Economic Policy” (1991), “Prospects of the Japanese Economy for the 21st Century” (1993), “The Internationalization of the Japanese Economy and Corporate Investment” (1993), “Wealth of People” (1994), “The Economy in which Fast Movers Win” (1998), “Policy Crisis and the Japanese Economy – A Search for the Causes of the Economic Slowdown in the 1990s” (2001) and “The True Story of Japan’s Structural Reform” (2006).
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