Mr. Takenaka is a professor of policy management and director of the Global Security Research Institute at Keio University in Japan. He was named to the Foundation Board of the World Economic Forum in 2007. His research interest is in economic policy.
In 2001, Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi named Professor Takenaka the minister for economic/fiscal policy, in which position he chaired the Council on Economic and Fiscal Policy and steered macroeconomic policy. Over the next five and a half years, he spearheaded Japan's economic structural reform. In 2002, he was named the minister for both financial services and economic/fiscal policy. In this capacity, he accomplished the disposal of non-performing loans of Japanese banks, which had hindered the Japanese economy for more than ten years. In 2004, he was elected to the House of Councilors, and was named the minister for both economic/fiscal policy and privatization of the postal services. In this capacity, he realized the privatization of Japan Post, the biggest public enterprise in Japan.
In 2006, Professor Takenaka returned to academia, leaving both the Cabinet and the House of Councilors when Prime Minister Koizumi resigned.