Former Japan Top Bureaucrat Nobuo Ishihara Dies at 96


Tokyo, Feb. 1 (Jiji Press)--Nobuo Ishihara, who served as deputy chief cabinet secretary for more than seven years under seven Japanese prime ministers, died of multiple organ failure on Sunday. He was 96.

After serving as vice minister at the Home Affairs Ministry, now part of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, Ishihara became deputy chief cabinet secretary, the top bureaucrat post, in November 1987 under then Prime Minister Noboru Takeshita. He continued to serve in the position under six subsequent prime ministers--Sousuke Uno, Toshiki Kaifu, Kiichi Miyazawa, Morihiro Hosokawa, Tsutomu Hata and Tomiichi Murayama.

Ishihara was known to have been committed to serving as a contact between politicians and bureaucrats, supporting the work of the government during a tempestuous period in the political world, which included the launch of the non-Liberal Democratic Party coalition government led by Hosokawa.

When Emperor Hirohito died in 1989, Ishihara oversaw the era change from Showa to Heisei and the Taiso no Rei state funeral.

Ishihara coordinated the government's response to the massive earthquake that hit the Kobe western Japan area in January 1995 and led efforts to aid affected people before quitting the government the following month. He unsuccessfully ran for Tokyo governorship in April that year.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press