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Akiko Santō
山東 昭子
Akiko Santō (cropped).jpg
Santō in 2020
President of the House of Councillors
In office
1 August 2019 – 3 August 2022
Preceded by Chūichi Date
Succeeded by Hidehisa Otsuji
Vice President of the House of Councillors
In office
7 August 2007 – 30 July 2010
Preceded by Akira Imaizumi
Succeeded by Hidehisa Otsuji
Director General of Science and Technology Agency
In office
29 December 1990 – 5 November 1991
Prime Minister Toshiki Kaifu
Preceded by Tomoji Ōshima
Succeeded by Kanzō Tanigawa
Member of House of Councillors
Assumed office
Constituency National PR
In office
Constituency National PR
In office
Constituency National district (1974–1986)
National PR (1986–1992)
Personal details
Born (1942-05-11) 11 May 1942 (age 82)
Setagaya, Tokyo, Japan
Political party Liberal Democratic
Alma mater Bunka Gakuin

Akiko Santō (山東 昭子, Santō Akiko, born 11 May 1942) is a Japanese politician who was the president of the House of Councillors of Japan from 2019 to 2022. A member of the Liberal Democratic Party, she was previously the vice president of the House of Councillors from 2007 to 2010.

Background and career

A native of Tokyo and graduate of Bunka Gakuin, Santo is the grandniece of Kodama Ryōtarō (September 1872 – October 25, 1921), a member of the House of Representatives.

Santo was elected to the House of Councillors for the first time in 1974 after working as an actress and reporter. She was parliamentary vice-minister of environment (Ohira cabinet), and minister of state and director general of the Science and Technology Agency (Kaifu cabinet, 1990–91). She became vice president of the House of Councillors in 2007, and chaired the joint plenary meeting of party members of both houses of the Diet.

The Senkaku episode

Santo played a role in the sale of three of the Senkaku Islands. She had known the landowner (Kurihara family) for 30 years, and in 2011 he told her that he wanted to sell to the governor of Tokyo, Shintaro Ishihara (whose nationalistic book he liked), instead of to the government and the prime minister, Yoshihiko Noda. The latter proposed a land swap, the former cash, and eventually the state bought the land for $25.5 million in 2012.

Like Ishihara, Santo is affiliated to the openly revisionist lobby Nippon Kaigi, which claims Japan's ownership of these islands, which are also claimed by China (as Diaoyu).

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Akiko Santō para niños

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