|Parliamentary Vice-Secretary for Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism|
4 September 2014 – 6 October 2015
|Prime Minister||Shinzo Abe|
|Member of the House of Councillors for the Tottori-Shimane at-large district|
|Assumed office |
26 July 2016
|Preceded by||New district|
|Member of the House of Councillors for the Shimane at-large district|
26 July 2010 – 25 July 2016
|Preceded by||Mikio Aoki|
|Succeeded by||District abolished|
|Born||25 March 1961|
Taisha, Shimane, Japan
|Political party||Liberal Democratic Party|
|Alma mater||Waseda University|
Kazuhiko Aoki (青木 一彦 Aoki Kazuhiko, born 25 March 1961) is a Japanese politician. After an earlier career working for a television broadcasting company, he entered the field of politics, serving as secretary to his politician father Mikio Aoki since 1999. In 2010 he succeeded his father as a member in the House of Councillors for the Shimane at-large district. A member of the Liberal Democratic Party, Aoki was re-elected to the House in July 2016 as the member for the merged Tottori-Shimane at-large district.
Early life and pre-political career
Aoki was born in the town of Taisha (now a part of Izumo city) in Shimane Prefecture on 25 March 1961. His father Mikio Aoki is a veteran politician within the prefecture, having served five terms in the Shimane Prefectural Assembly from 1967 to 1986 before representing the prefecture in the House of Councillors in the national Diet for four consecutive terms from 1986 as a member for the Shimane at-large district.
Aoki attended Taisha High School in Shimane and graduated from Waseda University with a bachelor's degree in education in 1985. After graduating he joined the Fuji Television before moving to the San-in Chūō Television Broadcasting company in Shimane a year later.
In 2000 Aoki left San-in Chūō to become a secretary to his father, who was serving in the role of Chief Cabinet Secretary in the Liberal Democratic Party's (LDP) government at the time. When Mikio was replaced as Chief Cabinet Secretary the following year, Kazuhiko remained as his father's official secretary.
First term as Councillor (2010-2016)
In January 2010 Mikio Aoki, who was 76 years of age, expressed his intention to seek a fifth six-year term in the House of Councillors at the election to be held in the middle of the year. He received official LDP backing from party leader Sadakazu Tanigaki, despite some people within the party wanting for him to step aside in favour of a younger candidate. However, Mikio suffered a stroke on 13 May 2010 while campaigning in Unnan city and informed LDP officials in Shimane the following day that he would have to abandon his campaign. At this time Kazuhiko's name was immediately raised as a replacement, and he later received the official nomination to contest the Shimane district at the July 2010 election. In the election he received 52.9% of the vote in a four-candidate contest.
During his first term as a Councillor, Aoki has served on the House's Land and Transport Committee, Administration Oversight Committee and the Special Committee on Regional Issues and Consumer Affairs. In October 2012 he became a deputy chairman of the LDP's house committee on Diet policy. In February 2013 he became a director of the House's Budget Committee.
In September 2014 Aoki was appointed by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe as a parliamentary vice-secretary for Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism alongside Kenichiro Ueno and Takashi Ōtsuka. He retained the role in Abe's next cabinet that was formed after the December 2014 House of Representatives election, but was replaced during a shuffle in October 2015.
In July 2015 Aoki was one of six LDP Councillors from rural districts who were opposed to the party's policy of merging smaller districts to address the problem of vote malapportionment. Aoki and the other Councillors exited the House before a vote on a bill that merged Aoki's Shimane district with the neighbouring Tottori at-large district, the two smallest districts in the country, amongst other changes to district representation.
2016 re-election campaign
Following the 2015 electoral reform intended to address disproportion in voter representation, Aoki's Shimane district was merged with the neighbouring Tottori at-large district to create the Tottori-Shimane at-large district. Tottori was represented by Kazuyuki Hamada, who was elected in 2010 as an LDP candidate but defected to an opposing party a year later. As the only incumbent LDP member in the new district, Aoki received the party's nomination to contest the newly merged district at the July 2016 election and an endorsement from Komeito, the LDP's junior coalition partner. In the election Aoki received 62.7% of the vote to defeat Hirohiko Fukushima, a nominally independent candidate who was jointly endorsed by the main opposition parties.
- "青木 一彦 プロフィル 参院選2010" [Kazuhiko Aoki Profile, House of Councillors Election 2010]. Yomiuri Shimbun. Retrieved 20 July 2010.
- "自民党：青木幹雄氏、参院選出馬を断念 脳梗塞で入院" [LDP: Mikio Aoki abandons House of Councillors nomination, hospitalized with stroke]. Mainichi Shimbun. 15 May 2010. Archived from the original on 16 May 2010. Retrieved 20 July 2016.
- "Mr_AOKI Kazuhiko：House of Councillors". House of Councillors. Retrieved 20 July 2016.
- "国土交通大臣政務官 青木 一彦 (あおき かずひこ) 第３次安倍内閣 大臣政務官名簿" [Parliamentary Vice-Secretary for Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism - Kazuhiko Aoki - Third Abe Cabinet - List of Parliamentary Vice-Secretaries] (in Japanese). Cabinet Public Relations Office. 25 June 2015. Retrieved 20 July 2016.
- "第２次安倍改造内閣 大臣政務官名簿" [Second Realigned Abe Cabinet - List of Parliamentary Vice-Secretaries] (in Japanese). Cabinet Public Relations Office. 3 October 2014. Retrieved 20 July 2016.
- "第３次安倍内閣 大臣政務官名簿" [Third Abe Cabinet - List of Parliamentary Vice-Secretaries] (in Japanese). Cabinet Public Relations Office. 25 June 2015. Retrieved 20 July 2016.
- "第３次安倍改造内閣 大臣政務官名簿" [Third Realigned Abe Cabinet - List of Parliamentary Vice-Secretaries] (in Japanese). Cabinet Public Relations Office. 9 October 2015. Retrieved 20 July 2016.
- "自民６議員が参院本会議で造反！ 採決退席、参院選挙制度改革『10増10減』の合区案に反発" [6 LDP Councillors rebel during debate! Left house at vote in opposition to district merger bill]. Sankei Shimbun. 24 July 2015. Retrieved 20 July 2016.
- "開票結果・速報(選挙区・鳥取・島根)【参議院選挙2016】" [Results (Tottori-Shimane District) [House of Councillors Election 2016]]. Yomiuri Shimbun (in Japanese). Retrieved 20 July 2016.
- Official website (in Japanese)