Mr. Kono is a sixth-term Liberal Democratic Member of the House of Representatives. He represents the 15th District of Kanagawa Prefecture, which includes the cities of Chigasaki, Hiratsuka, Oiso, and Ninomiya on the Sagami Bay. He was first elected to the House of Representatives as a Liberal Democratic Member in October 1996 at the age of 33 and has been re-elected every term since.
In 2002, he was appointed parliamentary secretary for Public Management with responsibilities including administrative reforms, local government matters, and e-Government. He also served in Prime Minister Koizumi's final government as senior vice minister of justice. In 2004, he co-sponsored and enacted the Economic Sanction Amendment to the Foreign Exchange Law and the Port Close Law, which allow the government to refuse the entry of North Korean ships into Japanese ports.
After donating part of his liver to his ailing father, Mr. Kono introduced a major amendment to the Organ Transplant Law and secured its passage in 2009. A strong advocate of the Kyoto Protocol, he has also played a leading role in the passage of many government bills on environmental issues and has led the debate on global warming.
Mr. Kono has voiced strong concerns over nuclear policy since 1997. He is especially critical of the so-called "nuclear fuel cycle," whereby plutonium is extracted from spent fuel by re-processing within Japan.
Mr. Kono graduated from Georgetown University with a BS in foreign service and later attended the Central School of Planning and Statistics in Warsaw, Poland.