Former Prime Minister Miyazawa's Political Diaries

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Former Prime Minister Miyazawa's Political Diaries

Former Prime Minister Kiichi Miyazawa's meticulous records of his political activities over four decades, from December 1966 to September 2006, have been made available to historians. As a leading figure within the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, Miyazawa recorded his meetings, thoughts, and daily schedule in 185 notebooks. These notebooks were stored at his office and are now being studied by a group of researchers, led by political scientist Takashi Mikuriya.

The notebooks provide insight into Miyazawa's role as a mainstream conservative politician who advocated for a lightly armed, economy-oriented nation and opposed revising the pacifist postwar Constitution. Detailed entries include his reactions to significant events, such as his victory in an LDP presidential election and the arrest of an LDP heavyweight in a tax evasion case. Additionally, his interactions with international figures are documented, including a conversation with Henry Kissinger.

Each day's activities are documented across two facing pages, with one page dedicated to the secretary's detailed schedule of events and attendees, and the other to Miyazawa's reflections and impressions of meetings. Furthermore, records of telephone conversations and personal thoughts are captured, providing a comprehensive account of Miyazawa's political life.

The value of these records is underscored by the fact that there are no equivalent complete records of leading politicians' activities from the postwar era. The meticulous nature of Miyazawa's records offers historians the opportunity to verify historical facts and conduct comparative analyses with other politician and bureaucrat accounts. The Asahi Shimbun, in collaboration with the research team, is constructing a database that will enable cross-searching of Miyazawa's records with other reference materials, such as newspaper articles and Diet proceedings. This database is intended to be made accessible for historical research in the future.