|Name Akiko Santo||Role Japanese Politician|
Akiko Santo (山東 昭子, Santō Akiko, born May 11, 1942) is a Japanese politician of the Liberal Democratic Party, a member of the House of Councillors in the Diet (national legislature).
Background and career
A native of Tokyo and graduate of Bunka Gakuin, Santo is the grand-niece of Kodama Ryotaro (September 1872 - October 25, 1921), a member of the House of Representatives.
Santo was elected to the House of Councillors for the first time in 1974 after working as an actress and reporter. Santo was Parliamentary Vice-Minister of Environment (Ohira Cabinet), and State Minister and Director General of Science and Technology Agency (Kaifu Cabinet, 1990–91). She became Vice President of the House of Councillors in 2007, and chaired the Joint Plenary Meeting of Party Members of Both Houses of the Diet.
The Senkaku episode
Santo played a role in the sale of 3 of the Senkaku Islands. She'd known the landowner (Kurihara family) for 30 years, and in 2011 he told her that he wanted to sell to Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara (whose nationalistic book he liked), instead of to the Government and Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda. The later proposed land swap, the former cash, and eventually the state bought the land for $25.5 million in 2012.
Like Ishihara, Santo is affiliated to the openly revisionist lobby Nippon Kaigi, which claims Japan's ownership of these islands, that are also claimed by China (as Diaoyu).