Gen Nakatani


Gen Nakatani (中谷 元, Nakatani Gen, born 14 October 1957) is a Japanese politician who was Director General of the Japan Defense Agency (now Japan Ministry of Defense) in the first cabinet of former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi in 2001-2002 and was appointed as the Minister of Defense by former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in 2014.[1][2]

Gen Nakatani
中谷 元
Gen Nakatani 4 Apr 2007 without US flag.jpg
Minister of Defense
In office
24 December 2014 – 3 August 2016
Prime MinisterShinzō Abe
Preceded byAkinori Eto
Succeeded byTomomi Inada
Director-General of the Japan Defense Agency
In office
4 April 2001 – 30 September 2002
Prime MinisterYoshirō Mori
Junichirō Koizumi
Preceded byToshitsugu Saito
Succeeded byShigeru Ishiba
Member of the House of Representatives for the Kōchi 1st district
Assumed office
14 December 2014
Preceded byTeru Fukui
Member of the House of Representatives for the Kōchi 2nd district
In office
20 October 1996 – 21 November 2014
Preceded byNew district
Succeeded byYuji Yamamoto
Member of the House of Representatives for the Kōchi at-large district
In office
19 February 1990 – 27 September 1996
Serving with Masanori Goto [ja], Noritoshi Ishida, Kenjiro Yamahara [ja], Yuji Yamamoto
Preceded byIzumi Inoue [ja], Masataro Hiraishi [ja], Masao Onishi [ja], Ryohei Tamura [ja]
Succeeded byDistrict abolished
Personal details
Born (1957-10-14) 14 October 1957 (age 65)
Political partyLiberal Democratic Party
Alma materNational Defense Academy
Military service
Allegiance Japan
Branch/service Japan Ground Self-Defense Force
Years of service1980–1984
RankFirst Lieutenant

Nakatani was born in Kōchi and attended the National Defense Academy of Japan. He served for four years as a commissioned officer in the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force (20th Infantry Regiment and Airborne Training Unit).

He first ran for elected office as a Liberal Democratic Party candidate in the 1990 general election and won one of five seats representing Kōchi Prefecture, and held this seat in the 1993 general election. Following electoral reform in 1994 that divided Kōchi into three single-member districts, he successfully contested the Kōchi 2nd district in the 1996 general election and held this seat until the 2014 general election, when he switched to the Kōchi 1st district; the abolishment of the Kōchi 3rd district required the Liberal Democratic Party's Kōchi members to switch seats so that they could all remain in office. Yuji Yamamoto, who had held the 3rd district since 1996, switched to the 2nd district. Meanwhile Teru Fukui, who had held the 1st district since 1996, switched to the Shikoku proportional representation block.

Nakatani supported Koichi Kato and Taku Yamasaki's no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori in 2000, and was appointed to head the Japan Defense Agency under Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi in the following year.



  1. ^ Ko Shu-ling; J. Michael Cole (6 October 2010). "Security experts warn on China threat". Taipei Times. Retrieved 4 January 2011.
  2. ^ Sachiko Sakamaki; Takashi Hirokawa (26 May 2009). "Japan Should Consider Pre-emptive Strikes, LDP Lawmaker Says". Bloomberg. Retrieved 4 January 2011.
Political offices
Preceded by Minister of Defense
Succeeded by