Nakasone, Yasuhiro yä˝so͝ohē´rō nä˝käsō´nā [key], 1918–2019, Japanese political leader and prime minister (1982–87). He served in the Diet after 1946. A political ally of Kakuei Tanaka and a member of the Liberal Democratic party (LDP), Nakasone succeeded Zenko Suzuki as prime minister. He increased Japan's military strength, but did not succeed in revising the country's pacifist constitution. He became the first Japanese prime minister to visit South Korea officially, and established closer ties with the United States and with China. Domestically, he oversaw the privatization of the state railroad and telecommunications monopolies and reduced the influence of the national bureaucracy in government decisions. He resigned as prime minister in 1987, but was a senior LDP adviser from 1991 until he retired from the Diet in 2003.
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