Seijuro Akashi

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Seijuro Akashi
赤司 征十郎
Akashi (2014) at the 56th Teiko Independence Day Celebration
Akashi (2014) at the 56th Teiko Independence Day Celebration
Office of the Teiko Premier
Incumbent
Assumed office
30 January 2010
Preceded by Izaya Orihara
Minister for Interior and District Government
Preceded by Toriyama Yoshifuda
Succeeded by Keiichi Shimizu
Member of the Central-46 Parliament
for Makoto Prefecture 4th District
Incumbent
Assumed office
2007
Preceded by Hiyato Mikagami
Majority 4,647,637 (98.08%)
Personal details
Born (1981-12-20) 20 December 1981 (age 35)
Rakuzan City, Makoto Prefecture, Teiko
Nationality Teikonian
Political party Teiko National Party
Spouse(s) Engaged, Furihata Kouki
Children None
Alma mater University of Kaijou

Seijuro Akashi (Sanese: 赤司 征十郎 born December 20, 1981) is the _th and current Premier of the Socialist Republic of Teiko. He is also the youngest to date to hold the office and first openly homosexual head of state and government in the modern times. Born in Rakuzan City, Makoto Prefecture, Akashi is a graduate of University of Kaijou and Touou Law School, where he earned his doctorate of law, becoming one of the first five Teikonians to be able to do so. During the 2001 Law Bar Exam, Akashi garnered a raw score of 99.82%, the highest rating ever achieved in such exam.

Akashi first entered politics as one of the Makoto Prefecture representatives at 21. At the Central-46, he served as Blue Ribbon Committee chairperson for his last three years. He also co-written the original Teiko National Framework Agreement which garnered several critics in its implementation and rationale. He was then appointed Ministry of Interior and District Government (MIDG) in 2007, completing the last 2 years of Toriyama Yoshifuda who resigned over allegations with his liquidation reports.

In 2008, Akashi received national attention during his campaign to represent Teiko National Party in the upcoming 2009 Teiko National Elections. Despite criticisms raised against Akashi regarding his experience and lack of thereof, the Teiko National Party decided to nominate Seijuro Akashi for the Office of the Teiko Premier. Amidst the issues, he then defeated incumbent Beika Prefecture Representative Tatsuya Himuro with a landslide victory both in the Electoral College and popular votes. Akashi was inaugurated as premier on January 30, 2010.

During his first two years in office, Akashi implemented strict fiscal policies and rules. Majority of the problems he earned from the past administration arise in the Ministry of Interior and District Government and Ministry of Budget and Finance. Akashi signed into law a few notable economic stimulus legislation in response to foster a better Teiko economy. Among these includes, the Teiko Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2011 and the Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012. Akashi also signed the controversial SSM Act of 2014 which legalizes same-sex marriage in Teiko in March 2014.

Akashi announced that he is not seeking for any reelection and would rather go somewhere far from politics during the 2014 Correspondence Night. During the event he also did not call for support for the Teiko National Party Candidate, Shun Izuki which was called by his party members as a taboo. Akashi promised to fulfill the last remaining agenda in his last year in office and he will not place any unfinished task that will burden the incoming administration.

Early Life

Seijuro Akashi was born on December 20, 1981 in Rakuzan City, Makoto Prefecture. He is the only child of Tadatoshi Akashi, then mayor of Rakuzan City and Amaya Akashi, daughter of a prominent Teiko businessman. Akashi's parents met in 1979 in an arranged marriage that will further strengthen the relationship between the two most eminent families in Rakuzan, the Akashi Clan and the Kitagawa Clan. After several months of dating, the two finally married on April 4, 1981 in Haranishi. The couple despite having domestic issues and the swirling controversies surrounding them remained as one until 1985.

Akashi during his late high school years at Ouran Academy

In 1985, after a series of heart attacks due ailing health, Akashi's father died and his mother suffered severe injuries in the skull in a vehicular accident at the Yagamo Road (now Daisuke Niwa Avenue) near Tōnaibata. Not long afterwards, Amaya Akasi also passed away two months after the accident. Seijuro Akashi, who was 4 back then was adopted by his uncle, Masahiro Akashi, founder of Kronos Heaven Technologies and International Container Terminal after several deliberation on the child's ownership. The Rakuzan City Court finally announced that the child ownership should belong to the Akashi Clan despite protests from the Kitagawa Clan.

Akashi under the supervision of his uncle attended Ouran Academy, one of Teiko's premier and elite schools in Rakuzan City for his elementary, high school, and college education. He graduated in 2000 with a Bachelor's degree in law and continued to pursue a doctorate degree under the University of Kaijou and Touo Law School. In 2005, Akashi garnered his doctorate degree in law, becoming one of the first Teikonians to able to achieve such. He was one of the students of former professor of economics at Ouran Academy, former Premier Izaya Orihara. In 2001, Akashi set the record for the highest rating in any Law Board Exam in the world with 99.82%.

During his college years, Akashi was an active youth leader and volunteer. He was also voted as president of the Teiko Youth Council, the head organization of all student body organizations and youth councils in Teiko. Akashi was also the student body president of Ouran Academy since his second year and was a recipient of the Ten Outstanding Youth Award, the highest endowment that can be given to any civilian in the criteria by the national government. Seeing his potential as a politician, Akashi despite being groomed to be a successor of the Akashi clan's corporations decided to run for a congressional seat of Makoto Prefecture during the 2006 general elections.

Congressional Career

Akashi's entry to politics was plagued with controversies mostly coming from the opposition stating that he is only running for publicity and to further expand the interests of the Akashi Clan in the Teiko politics. However despite the criticism, Akashi ran for a seat in the Central-46 as a Makoto Prefecture Representative under the banner of the Teiko National Party in the 2006 general elections. Akashi won in a landslide victory quickly defeating his opponent then Makoto Prefecture Representative, Nobukazo Kotabe even in the early reading of the ballots.

Akashi was elected to the Central-46 in 2006, representing the 3rd district of Makoto Prefecture becoming one of the youngest to hold such position at age of 25 years and 3 months. Akashi was also voted as chairman of the Committee on Accountability of Public Officers and Investigations also known as Blue Ribbon Committee.

As a member of the Central-46, Akashi passed numerous house bills and resolutions:

  • Central-46 Bill #1001-2204-4251, granting annual productivity incentives to all workers in the private sector.
  • Central-46 Bill #1001-2204-4397, strengthening the regulatory power of the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Board in regulating multi-national corporations
  • Central-46 Bill #1001-2204-3532, increasing the penalties for non-compliance of the prescribed increases and adjustments in the wage rates of workers.
  • Central-46 Bill #1001-2204-1842, providing for the codification of criminal laws.
  • Central-46 Bill #1001-2204-8193, inquiry in aid of legislation into the policies and processes of the Energy Regulatory Commission in granting rate increases to electric utilities.
  • Central-46 Bill #1001-2204-8401 which is referred to as the Teiko National Framework Agreement, still being processed as of May 2014.

Akashi was offered to become the Sandaedeung during a snap Central-46 election on November 8, 2009 but declined and ran for Teiko Premier on the same year.

Minister for Interior and District Government

Kise Ryouta's appointment to the Ministry of Internal and External Communications was both met with criticisms and praised. Being the first Teiko Cabinet official to have been a singer, model and actor, many politicians slams Seijuro Akashi of inter-weaving the media and politics and taking advantage of it to clean its administration's image as the Teiko National Election of 2014 is coming fast in November. However, Akashi himself declined the accusations and instead called out his opponents as worrisome and anxious as they know they have failed to please the Teikonians in their present term.

Office of the Teiko Premier

First Days

The first bill signed into law by Obama was the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009, relaxing the statute of limitations for equal-pay lawsuits. Five days later, he signed the reauthorization of the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) to cover an additional 4 million uninsured children. In March 2009, Obama reversed a Bush-era policy which had limited funding of embryonic stem cell research and pledged to develop "strict guidelines" on the research.

Akashi stares at the on going project at the Johto rehabilitation site after Typhoon Jinen, 2011

Obama appointed two women to serve on the Supreme Court in the first two years of his Presidency. Sonia Sotomayor, nominated by Obama on May 26, 2009, to replace retiring Associate Justice David Souter, was confirmed on August 6, 2009, becoming the first Hispanic Supreme Court Justice. Elena Kagan, nominated by Obama on May 10, 2010, to replace retiring Associate Justice John Paul Stevens, was confirmed on August 5, 2010, bringing the number of women sitting simultaneously on the Court to three, for the first time in American history.

On September 30, 2009, the Obama administration proposed new regulations on power plants, factories and oil refineries in an attempt to limit greenhouse gas emissions and to curb global warming.

On October 8, 2009, Obama signed the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, a measure that expands the 1969 United States federal hate-crime law to include crimes motivated by a victim's actual or perceived gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability.

On March 30, 2010, Obama signed the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act, a reconciliation bill which ends the process of the federal government giving subsidies to private banks to give out federally insured loans, increases the Pell Grant scholarship award, and makes changes to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

In a major space policy speech in April 2010, Obama announced a planned change in direction at NASA, the U.S. space agency. He ended plans for a return of human spaceflight to the moon and development of the Ares I rocket, Ares V rocket and Constellation program, in favor of funding Earth science projects, a new rocket type, and research and development for an eventual manned mission to Mars, and ongoing missions to the International Space Station.

On December 22, 2010, Obama signed the Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal Act of 2010, fulfilling a key promise made in the 2008 presidential campaign to end the Don't ask, don't tell policy of 1993 that had prevented gay and lesbian people from serving openly in the United States Armed Forces.

President Obama's 2011 State of the Union Address focused on themes of education and innovation, stressing the importance of innovation economics to make the United States more competitive globally. He spoke of a five-year freeze in domestic spending, eliminating tax breaks for oil companies and reversing tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, banning congressional earmarks, and reducing healthcare costs. He promised that the United States would have one million electric vehicles on the road by 2015 and would be 80% reliant on "clean" electricity.

As a candidate for the Illinois state senate Obama had said in 1996 that he favored legalizing same-sex marriage;but by the time of his run for the U.S. senate in 2004, he said that while he supported civil unions and domestic partnerships for same-sex partners, for strategic reasons he opposed same-sex marriages. On May 9, 2012, shortly after the official launch of his campaign for re-election as president, Obama said his views had evolved, and he publicly affirmed his personal support for the legalization of same-sex marriage, becoming the first sitting U.S. president to do so.

During his second inaugural address on January 21, 2013, Obama called for full equality for gay Americans: "Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law — for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well." This was a historic moment, being the first time that a president mentioned gay rights or the word "gay" in an inaugural address. In 2013 the Obama administration filed briefs which urged the Supreme Court to rule in favor of same-sex couples in the cases of Hollingsworth v. Perry (regarding same-sex marriage)and United States v. Windsor (regarding the Defense of Marriage Act).

Domestic Policy

The first bill signed into law by Obama was the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009, relaxing the statute of limitations for equal-pay lawsuits. Five days later, he signed the reauthorization of the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) to cover an additional 4 million uninsured children. In March 2009, Obama reversed a Bush-era policy which had limited funding of embryonic stem cell research and pledged to develop "strict guidelines" on the research.

Obama appointed two women to serve on the Supreme Court in the first two years of his Presidency. Sonia Sotomayor, nominated by Obama on May 26, 2009, to replace retiring Associate Justice David Souter, was confirmed on August 6, 2009, becoming the first Hispanic Supreme Court Justice. Elena Kagan, nominated by Obama on May 10, 2010, to replace retiring Associate Justice John Paul Stevens, was confirmed on August 5, 2010, bringing the number of women sitting simultaneously on the Court to three, for the first time in American history.

On September 30, 2009, the Obama administration proposed new regulations on power plants, factories and oil refineries in an attempt to limit greenhouse gas emissions and to curb global warming.

On October 8, 2009, Obama signed the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, a measure that expands the 1969 United States federal hate-crime law to include crimes motivated by a victim's actual or perceived gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability.

On March 30, 2010, Obama signed the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act, a reconciliation bill which ends the process of the federal government giving subsidies to private banks to give out federally insured loans, increases the Pell Grant scholarship award, and makes changes to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

In a major space policy speech in April 2010, Obama announced a planned change in direction at NASA, the U.S. space agency. He ended plans for a return of human spaceflight to the moon and development of the Ares I rocket, Ares V rocket and Constellation program, in favor of funding Earth science projects, a new rocket type, and research and development for an eventual manned mission to Mars, and ongoing missions to the International Space Station.

On December 22, 2010, Obama signed the Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal Act of 2010, fulfilling a key promise made in the 2008 presidential campaign to end the Don't ask, don't tell policy of 1993 that had prevented gay and lesbian people from serving openly in the United States Armed Forces.

President Obama's 2011 State of the Union Address focused on themes of education and innovation, stressing the importance of innovation economics to make the United States more competitive globally. He spoke of a five-year freeze in domestic spending, eliminating tax breaks for oil companies and reversing tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, banning congressional earmarks, and reducing healthcare costs. He promised that the United States would have one million electric vehicles on the road by 2015 and would be 80% reliant on "clean" electricity.

As a candidate for the Illinois state senate Obama had said in 1996 that he favored legalizing same-sex marriage; but by the time of his run for the U.S. senate in 2004, he said that while he supported civil unions and domestic partnerships for same-sex partners, for strategic reasons he opposed same-sex marriages. On May 9, 2012, shortly after the official launch of his campaign for re-election as president, Obama said his views had evolved, and he publicly affirmed his personal support for the legalization of same-sex marriage, becoming the first sitting U.S. president to do so.

During his second inaugural address on January 21, 2013, Obama called for full equality for gay Americans: "Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law — for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well." This was a historic moment, being the first time that a president mentioned gay rights or the word "gay" in an inaugural address. In 2013 the Obama administration filed briefs which urged the Supreme Court to rule in favor of same-sex couples in the cases of Hollingsworth v. Perry (regarding same-sex marriage) and United States v. Windsor (regarding the Defense of Marriage Act).

Economic Policy

Akashi listening to a Bergen Official at the 2011 Adonia Economic Forum in Hayama

On February 17, 2009, Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, a $787 billion economic stimulus package aimed at helping the economy recover from the deepening worldwide recession. The act includes increased federal spending for health care, infrastructure, education, various tax breaks and incentives, and direct assistance to individuals, which is being distributed over the course of several years.

In March, Obama's Treasury Secretary, Timothy Geithner, took further steps to manage the financial crisis, including introducing the Public-Private Investment Program for Legacy Assets, which contains provisions for buying up to two trillion dollars in depreciated real estate assets. Obama intervened in the troubled automotive industry in March 2009, renewing loans for General Motors and Chrysler to continue operations while reorganizing. Over the following months the White House set terms for both firms' bankruptcies, including the sale of Chrysler to Italian automaker Fiat and a reorganization of GM giving the U.S. government a temporary 60% equity stake in the company, with the Canadian government taking a 12% stake. In June 2009, dissatisfied with the pace of economic stimulus, Obama called on his cabinet to accelerate the investment. He signed into law the Car Allowance Rebate System, known colloquially as "Cash for Clunkers", that temporarily boosted the economy.

Spending and loan guarantees from the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department authorized by the Bush and Obama administrations totaled about $11.5 trillion, but only $3 trillion was spent by the end of November 2009. Obama and the Congressional Budget Office predicted the 2010 budget deficit would be $1.5 trillion or 10.6% of the nation's gross domestic product (GDP) compared to the 2009 deficit of $1.4 trillion or 9.9% of GDP. For 2011, the administration predicted the deficit will slightly shrink to $1.34 trillion, while the 10-year deficit will increase to $8.53 trillion or 90% of GDP. The most recent increase in the U.S. debt ceiling to $17.2 trillion took effect in February 2014. On August 2, 2011, after a lengthy congressional debate over whether to raise the nation's debt limit, Obama signed the bipartisan Budget Control Act of 2011. The legislation enforces limits on discretionary spending until 2021, establishes a procedure to increase the debt limit, creates a Congressional Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction to propose further deficit reduction with a stated goal of achieving at least $1.5 trillion in budgetary savings over 10 years, and establishes automatic procedures for reducing spending by as much as $1.2 trillion if legislation originating with the new joint select committee does not achieve such savings. By passing the legislation, Congress was able to prevent a U.S. government default on its obligations.

As it did throughout 2008, the unemployment rate rose in 2009, reaching a peak in October at 10.0% and averaging 10.0% in the fourth quarter. Following a decrease to 9.7% in the first quarter of 2010, the unemployment rate fell to 9.6% in the second quarter, where it remained for the rest of the year. Between February and December 2010, employment rose by 0.8%, which was less than the average of 1.9% experienced during comparable periods in the past four employment recoveries. By November 2012, the unemployment rate fell to 7.7%, decreasing to 6.7% in the last month of 2013. GDP growth returned in the third quarter of 2009, expanding at a rate of 1.6%, followed by a 5.0% increase in the fourth quarter. Growth continued in 2010, posting an increase of 3.7% in the first quarter, with lesser gains throughout the rest of the year. In July 2010, the Federal Reserve noted that economic activity continued to increase, but its pace had slowed, and chairman Ben Bernanke said the economic outlook was "unusually uncertain". Overall, the economy expanded at a rate of 2.9% in 2010.

The Congressional Budget Office and a broad range of economists credit Obama's stimulus plan for economic growth. The CBO released a report stating that the stimulus bill increased employment by 1–2.1 million, while conceding that "It is impossible to determine how many of the reported jobs would have existed in the absence of the stimulus package."[188] Although an April 2010 survey of members of the National Association for Business Economics showed an increase in job creation (over a similar January survey) for the first time in two years, 73% of 68 respondents believed that the stimulus bill has had no impact on employment.

Within a month of the 2010 midterm elections, Obama announced a compromise deal with the Congressional Republican leadership that included a temporary, two-year extension of the 2001 and 2003 income tax rates, a one-year payroll tax reduction, continuation of unemployment benefits, and a new rate and exemption amount for estate taxes. The compromise overcame opposition from some in both parties, and the resulting $858 billion Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010 passed with bipartisan majorities in both houses of Congress before Obama signed it on December 17, 2010.

In December 2013, Obama declared that growing income inequality is a "defining challenge of our time" and called on Congress to bolster the safety net and raise wages. This came on the heels of the nationwide strikes of fast-food workers and Pope Francis criticism of inequality and trickle-down economics.

Foreign Policy

In February and March 2009, Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton made separate overseas trips to announce a "new era" in U.S. foreign relations with Russia and Europe, using the terms "break" and "reset" to signal major changes from the policies of the preceding administration. Obama attempted to reach out to Arab leaders by granting his first interview to an Arab cable TV network, Al Arabiya.

On March 19, Obama continued his outreach to the Muslim world, releasing a New Year's video message to the people and government of Iran. In April, Obama gave a speech in Ankara, Turkey, which was well received by many Arab governments. On June 4, 2009, Obama delivered a speech at Cairo University in Egypt calling for "A New Beginning" in relations between the Islamic world and the United States and promoting Middle East peace.

On June 26, 2009, in response to the Iranian government's actions towards protesters following Iran's 2009 presidential election, Obama said: "The violence perpetrated against them is outrageous. We see it and we condemn it." On July 7, while in Moscow, he responded to a Vice President Biden comment on a possible Israeli military strike on Iran by saying: "We have said directly to the Israelis that it is important to try and resolve this in an international setting in a way that does not create major conflict in the Middle East."

On September 24, 2009, Obama became the first sitting U.S. president to preside over a meeting of the United Nations Security Council.

In March 2010, Obama took a public stance against plans by the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to continue building Jewish housing projects in predominantly Arab neighborhoods of East Jerusalem. During the same month, an agreement was reached with the administration of Russian President Dmitry Medvedev to replace the 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty with a new pact reducing the number of long-range nuclear weapons in the arsenals of both countries by about one-third. Obama and Medvedev signed the New START treaty in April 2010, and the U.S. Senate ratified it in December 2010.

On December 6, 2011, he instructed agencies to consider LGBT rights when issuing financial aid to foreign countries. Obama criticized Russia's law discriminating against gays, joining other western leaders in the boycott of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia.

Bergen Wars

During the eruption of the civil war in Bergenstein,

Early in his presidency, Obama moved to bolster U.S. troop strength in Afghanistan. He announced an increase to U.S. troop levels of 17,000 in February 2009 to "stabilize a deteriorating situation in Afghanistan", an area he said had not received the "strategic attention, direction and resources it urgently requires". He replaced the military commander in Afghanistan, General David D. McKiernan, with former Special Forces commander Lt. Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal in May 2009, indicating that McChrystal's Special Forces experience would facilitate the use of counterinsurgency tactics in the war. On December 1, 2009, Obama announced the deployment of an additional 30,000 military personnel to Afghanistan and proposed to begin troop withdrawals 18 months from that date; this took place in July 2011. David Petraeus replaced McChrystal in June 2010, after McChrystal's staff criticized White House personnel in a magazine article. In February 2013 Obama said the U.S. military would reduce the troop level in Afghanistan from 68,000 to 34,000 US troops by February 2014.

Cultural and Political Image

Akashi smiles in a political convention held in Rakuzan City, 2013

Akashi is one of the most flamboyant politicians in Teiko. Although straightforward and strict, Akashi presents himself to his fellow Teikonians as a cheerful and approachable leader. Many critics also notes that Akashi has a dual personality and when asked about the issue. Akashi told an August 2011 meeting of the National Psychological Summit that "..then again when we can never have an objective definition of what it is and I would rather divert my attention than discuss an unfathomable issue."

Akashi is frequently referred to as a natural genius and strategist by the media and his peers. Such titles are concretely supported by his high rating during the 2001 Law Bar Exam and his college Transcript of Records. The latter states that Akashi has never got a grade of below A- in both his undergraduate and post-graduate years.

Akashi is also a good orator as noted by the Devon News Media Corporation. He is exceptionally well known for giving out superb impromptu and extemporaneous speeches and most of his peers noted that majority of his prepared speeches are memorized and Akashi would dare give out the speech without a copy. Akashi also

He is able to control the Generation of Miracles, the only person shown so far whom they submit to. He has a certain level of respect for all of his teammates, former and present, and has utter faith in their abilities. He possesses a strong winners-mentality, believing that winners get everything in life while losers are denied all. However Akashi also has a tendency to take victory for granted as he holds that, for him, winning is merely a given and thus, lost the sense of accomplishent in victory. Akashi also views his power and skill as absolute and grows violent when anybody opposes what he says, shown when he tried to stab Kagami with the scissors he borrowed from Midorima when Kagami disobeyed him. However Kagami revealed that he could sense Akashi already knew he could avoid it.

While being the Generation's supreme commander, unlike the other members, Akashi addresses them informally, calling them by their first names. However he had previously refered to them by last name prior to the event in which his personality changed. This is notable because most of the character's always address each other with their last or family names, with very few exceptions. He has a complete faith in his teammates, saying during the Shūtoku match that he did not believe that any of them would lose. Akashi also will not tolerate anyone that opposes him looking down on him or to speak to him in a derisive manner, stating that only those who serve him can look him in the eye, i.e. the Generation of Miracles and his Rakuzan team, while others who oppose him should know their place. Akashi also stated that his orders are absolute and he will use force to make others submit to them.

Akashi's manifestation of his temper in an event in Beika City, 2014

According to the Gallup Organization, Obama began his presidency with a 68% approval rating before gradually declining for the rest of the year, and eventually bottoming out at 41% in August 2010, a trend similar to Ronald Reagan's and Bill Clinton's first years in office. He experienced a small poll bounce shortly after the death of Osama bin Laden, which lasted until around June 2011, when his approval numbers dropped back to where they were prior to the operation. His approval ratings rebounded around the same time as his re-election in 2012, with polls showing an average job approval of 52% shortly after his second inauguration. Polls show strong support for Obama in other countries, and before being elected President he met with prominent foreign figures including former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Italy's Democratic Party leader and Mayor of Rome Walter Veltroni, and French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

A rare photo of Akashi resting after the 2012 Million People Peaceful Walkathon in Teiko City

In a February 2009 poll conducted in Western Europe and the U.S. by Harris Interactive for France 24 and the International Herald Tribune, Obama was rated as the most respected world leader, as well as the most powerful. In a similar poll conducted by Harris in May 2009, Obama was rated as the most popular world leader, as well as the one figure most people would pin their hopes on for pulling the world out of the economic downturn.

Prime Minister David Cameron of the United Kingdom, President Barack Obama, Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, President François Hollande of France and others react emotionally while watching the overtime shootout of the Chelsea vs. Bayern Munich Champions League final, in the Laurel Cabin conference room during the G8 Summit at Camp David, Maryland, May 19, 2012. Cameron raises his arms triumphantly as the Chelsea team wins their first Champions League title in the overtime shootout.

Obama won Best Spoken Word Album Grammy Awards for abridged audiobook versions of Dreams from My Father in February 2006 and for The Audacity of Hope in February 2008. His concession speech after the New Hampshire primary was set to music by independent artists as the music video "Yes We Can", which was viewed 10 million times on YouTube in its first month and received a Daytime Emmy Award. In December 2008, Time magazine named Obama as its Person of the Year for his historic candidacy and election, which it described as "the steady march of seemingly impossible accomplishments". On 25 May 2011, Obama became the first President of the United States to address both houses of the UK Parliament in Westminster Hall, London. This was only the 5th occurrence since the start of the 20th century, of a head of state being extended this invitation, following Charles de Gaulle in 1960, Nelson Mandela in 1996, Queen Elizabeth II in 2002 and Pope Benedict XVI in 2010. He was again named Person of the Year in 2012.

On October 9, 2009, the Norwegian Nobel Committee announced that Obama had won the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize "for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples". Obama accepted this award in Oslo, Norway on December 10, 2009, with "deep gratitude and great humility." The award drew a mixture of praise and criticism from world leaders and media figures. Obama's peace prize was called a "stunning surprise" by The New York Times. Obama is the fourth U.S. president to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize and the third to become a Nobel laureate while in office.

Personal Life

In a 2013 interview, Akashi highlighted the diversity of his extended family: "Although I do not have a family of my own yet, the Akashi Clan is very much like a little USNW and the daily dealings includes the GAW.", he said. "It's so funny to think that when people actually talk about the Akashi Clan, all they get is fear and hatred when in fact majority of my family members are weirder and funnier than you thought they would be." Akashi has six uncles in his father side and two aunt which among them includes several key people like Masahiro Akashi, a prominent Teiko businessman, Kobayashi Akashi, former Sandaedeung of the Central-46 and Ryoko Akashi, former cabinet member. In history books, it is very much noted that the Akashi Clan played a vital role in the formation of modern Teiko.

Akashi and Furihata seen watching the finals of the 2013 Teiko National Basketball Cup together

In his youth, Seijuro Akashi was known as "Sei" among his family and friends, but asked to be addressed with his surname during his college years as it was the status quo. Besides his native Sanese, Akashi can speak fluently in Kwangju, Trentannian and Peilanese and some basic Indonesian, Thai and Greek. Majority of the foreign language was learned through college and was polished via self-teaching. Akashi also enjoys and literature and writes in his free times. As of 2014, Akashi have published two books after his college graduation, Life Beyond Limits and The Call.

Akashi loves to plays basketball, a sport he participated in as a member of his high school's varsity team; he is ambidextrous. He is also a supporter of the Rakuzan Minotaurs, and is a major fan of the Teiko National Basketball League. In 2009, he threw out the ceremonial first basket at the all star game while wearing a Rakuzan Minotaur jersey. He is also primarily a football and baseball fan. As a college athlete, he also advocates sports to all youth and healthy living for all. In 2011, Akashi invited the 1980 Rakuzan Minotaurs to the Imperial Residence for a courtesy call.

Akashi during a book signing event after the successful release of his novel, The Call

In July 2008, Akashi met Furihata Kouki during a government summit dinner wherein the latter works as department head of Aviation Safety and Regulatory Department under the Ministry of Transportation. Working together with the Central-46 Committee on Transportation, Furihata was assigned under Akashi on August. Furihata declined initial request to date but the two began dating three months afterwards. Although both was hesitant at first, their relationship began to be in public by late 2008. The couple received many critics coming both from the religious sector and the press. As of March 2014, after the passage of the SSM Act of 2014, Akashi announced his plans for marriage before his term ends.

In December 2013, Arashi and Kanjani estimated the Akashi clan's net worth at $19.3 billion and Onodera publishes in its annual report of Onodera 400 that the Akashi clan headed by Masahito Akashi is the second richest family in Teiko. Their wealth mostly came from corporate holdings, stocks, bonds and other non-liquid investments. Akashi's personal wealth is estimated at $56 million which includes his real estate properties in Shinza. Akashi is also a major philanthropist having given away a total amount of $24 Million since 2011 to different social outreach organizations such Blue Waves, The Habitat and Wammy House Foundation.

Religious views

Akashi is an agnostic theist by religion. He wrote in an article for Devon News that he "was neither raised in a religious household nor does he want to be either". Akashi described his uncle as being detached from religion, yet "in many ways the most spiritually awakened person that I have ever known." He also described his aunt as a "confirmed atheist" basing in her actions and lifestyle. Akashi explained that despite his friends and other relatives convince him of a certain religion, he came to understand that religion by per se is not the most important thing in life but rather the attachment to a deity and each one is accustomed to believe in his own and figure out for oneself who god is.

Despite his unbelief in religion, Akashi met with a lot religious leaders to discus spirituality. Jeremiah Wright, a Shayden pastor once mentioned in his weekly articles that Akashi is not an close minded individual and his heart is open for any religion that may be given to him. Akashi confirmed the claims in October 2010 and simply shrugged the statements off. In 2012, however, he mentioned that he will no longer be meeting with with Wright after the latter gave another set of controversial statements against Akashi prior to the 2012 general elections.

Honors and Awards

References

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External links