Takeshita, Noboru (täkĕshˈtä) [key], 1924–2000, Japanese politician, b. Kakeya. The son of a sake brewer, he was first elected to parliament in 1958 and served as chief cabinet secretary, construction minister, and finance minister (1979–80, 1982–86). Leader of the largest faction of the ruling Liberal Democratic party (LDP), he became head of the party and prime minister in 1987 and led Japan's emergence as a champion of the developing nations of Asia. He was forced to resign in 1989 as a result of a bribery scandal that involved several major party figures. A skillful practitioner of patronage-based machine politics, Takeshita remained leader of his faction in the LDP and was a powerful behind-the-scenes political figure in Japan through the 1990s. He resigned from parliament in 2000, shortly before his death.
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