Yasuhiro Nakasone 中曽根 康弘 (May 27, 1918 – November 29, 2019) was a Japanese politician who served as Prime Minister of Japan and President of the Liberal Democratic Party from 1982 to 1987. He was a member of the House of Representatives for more than 50 years. He was best known for pushing through the privatization of state-owned companies, and for helping to revitalize Japanese nationalism during and after his term as prime minister. He was the oldest living former state leader at the time of his death in 2019, aged 101.
- I know that some people in Europe have mixed feelings about the dynamic economic development under way in the Asia-Pacific region, and the increasing attention which the United States is giving to it. But we should not think of the Atlantic versus the Pacific or Europe against Asia. Dynamic development of this region will benefit the entire free world. My dream is that of a strong Europe and a developing Asia-Pacific, linked together in mutual prosperity and working together for the common good of all peoples. ... I believe that Japanese efforts to promote our friendly relations with China can help to improve the climate for world peace and stability.
- Alastair Buchan Memorial Lecture to the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London (11 June 1984), quoted in The Times (12 June 1984), p. 6
- In the history of interchange between Japan and Korea, wherein we owe a great deal to your country, regrettably the fact remains that that there was a period in this century when Japan brought to bear great sufferings upon your country and its people. I would like to state here that the Government and people of Japan feel a deep regret for this error and are determined firmly to warn ourselves for the future.
- Speech at a lunch for President Chun Doo-hwan of South Korea (7 September 1984), quoted in The Times (8 September 1984), p. 4
- We must try to change Japan's industrial structure so it will not be harmful to others. Otherwise Japan might face the chance of disappearing from earth overnight, like Carthage. Can we go on living with surpluses of $30 billion to $40 billion a year? It's like playing Mah-Jong – if you keep winning, nobody plays with you any more.
- Speech to the Japan National Press Club (28 November 1985), quoted in The Times (29 November 1985), p. 7
- With its high standard of living achieved through untiring efforts, Japan is today on the verge of a new metamorphosis and transformation. ... We must achieve true internationalization in our society, economy and other fields.
- Speech to the Japanese Parliament (27 January 1986), quoted in The Times (28 January 1986), p. 6
- I stood vacantly amid the ruins of Tokyo, after discarding my officer's short sword and removing the epaulettes of my uniform. As I looked around me, I swore to resurrect my homeland from the ashes of defeat.
- On his return to Tokyo in 1945, quoted in Robert Harvey, The Undefeated: The Rise, Fall and Rise of Greater Japan (Macmillan, 1994), p. 362
- I was carrying out a kind of "improvement" of Japan's structure. For 110 years, ever since the Meiji restoration, Japan had been striving to catch up with America and Britain. In the 1970s we did catch up. Beyond that point the [state's] regulations only stand in the way of the growth of the economy. If government officials have too much power, the private sector of the economy will not grow. We had to change the system.
- On his economic policy, quoted in Robert Harvey, The Undefeated: The Rise, Fall and Rise of Greater Japan (Macmillan, 1994), p. 364