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Japanese Leaders in Brief

April 3, 2000

TOKYO (AP) _ A look at two possible successors to Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi and the man named acting prime minister:

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YOHEI KONO, foreign minister:

Kono, 63, was first elected to parliament in 1967. A graduate of Waseda University, he became president of the Liberal Democratic Party in 1993. He was deputy prime minister in 1994. Obuchi named Kono as foreign minister in October, the second time that he has held the job. The son of a politician, Kono is considered one of his party’s top foreign policy experts.

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YOSHIRO MORI, Liberal Democratic Party leader:

Mori, 62, also a Waseda graduate, was first elected to parliament in 1969. Now the secretary-general of the ruling LDP, he has served 10 terms in parliament. Mori has held a number of positions within the LDP and the government, including stints as Construction Minister and Minister of International Trade and Industry.

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MIKIO AOKI, chief Cabinet secretary:

Aoki, 65, the top spokesman for the Obuchi government, was named acting prime minister on Monday. Aoki worked early in his political career for LDP power broker Noboru Takeshita, who eventually became prime minister in the late 1980s. Aoki worked most of his life in relative obscurity as a local assemblyman in western Japan and a lawmaker. He was named chief Cabinet secretary by Obuchi last October.

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