Former Speaker of the House of Representatives of Japan
Mr. Kono Yohei is the former speaker of the House of Representatives in the National Diet of Japan. He graduated from Faculty of Political Science and Economics at Waseda University. From 1961 to 1967, he was the director of Nichiryo Co. Ltd. Prior to becoming the director, he worked for Marubeni-Iida Co. Ltd. He was also the author of Ketsudan: Kono oyako no seitaikan ishoku (“A Decision: Living Donor Liver Transplantation between the Father and Child of Kono”) and Hakushu wa iranai (“No Need for Hand Clapping”). Mr. Kono has started his political career in 1967 when he was elected for the first time to the House of Representatives as a member of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP). He has returned 14 times successively to the House of Representatives since then. He seceded from the LDP and founded the New Liberal Club (NLC) in June 1975. Then approximately 11 years later in August 1986, he disbanded the NLC and returned to the LDP. In July 2009, he retired from politics. Currently, Mr. Kono is the Honorary President of Japan Association of Athletics Federations and the President of Japan Association of International (Japan-China) Trade. Also, he is the specially-appointed professor and councilor at Waseda University. He has received decorations from various countries, such as Hungary, Argentina, Jordan, Brazil, and etc. His most recent decorations he received include L ‘ordre national de la légion d’honneur from France and the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Paulownia Flowers from the Emperor of Japan.