Obituary: Shigezo Hayasaka

Political commentator Shigezo Hayasaka, who wrote books detailing his experiences as a secretary to the late Prime Minister Kakuei Tanaka, died of lung cancer Sunday at a Tokyo hospital, his family said. He was 73.

In 1962, Hayasaka was assigned to serve as the finance minister’s secretary when Tanaka held that portfolio. He subsequently served as a secretary to Tanaka for more than 20 years, including when Tanaka was prime minister from 1972 to 1974.

He had previously worked as a reporter, mainly in the political news and city news sections of the now-defunct Tokyo Times newspaper. He was a graduate of Waseda University.

His books include “Oyaji to Watashi” (“The Big Daddy and I”), in which “oyaji” refers to Tanaka, and “Seijika Tanaka Kakuei” (“Politician Kakuei Tanaka”).

Tanaka, the rags-to-riches politician who restored Japan’s ties with China in 1972, was later handed a prison term for his involvement in the Lockheed payoff scandal.