The Institute hosted a luncheon meeting August 4, 2006, for Minister Heizo Takenaka, the chief architect of the Japanese economic reform programs under Prime Minister Koizumi. Takenaka is now minister for internal affairs and communication, and minister of state for privatization of the postal services, in which capacity he is chiefly responsible for the historic plans that have just been announced for the reform of Japan Post. He was previously minister of state for financial services, in charge of the sweeping and highly successful reform of the Japanese banking system, and minister of state for economic and fiscal policy during the earlier Koizumi years. He was also elected to the House of Councillors in 2004.
Minister Takenaka addressed the luncheon meeting on the topic "Structural Reform Under the Koizumi Administration." He has been responsible for several of the most sweeping and successful of the Koizumi reforms, including as noted above the cleanup of the financial system and now the privatization of Japan Post. Takenaka was previously a leading academic economist in Japan, mainly at Keio University, and an advisor to several former Prime Ministers, and spent a year as a visiting fellow at the Institute in 1989.