Taro Aso was born into a wealthy family with strong political connections. His grandfather, Shigeru Yoshida, was Prime Minister of Japan on two occasions between 1946 and 1954, his father was head of the Aso group of companies and his father-in-law was Zenko Suzuki who also served as Prime Minister. His sister, Nobuko, would marry into the Japanese Imperial family and become Princess Tomihito of Mikasa.
Although he competed at the highest national level for over a decade his only Olympic appearance came in the skeet event in Montreal where he finished well down the field.
He gave up his business interests to pursue a political career and in 1979 was elected to the Japanese House of Representatives. He joined the Japanese Cabinet in 2003 as Minister for Internal Affairs and Communications and, two years later, became Minister for Foreign Affairs.
After failing in a bid for the position in 2007 he was elected to succeed Yusauo Fukuda as Prime Minister of Japan in September 2008. Known as a somewhat controversial political figure, he was the first Roman Catholic Christian to serve in this post.
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