Yamamoto, booster of Japan-U.S. relations, dies at 76

Kyodo

Tadashi Yamamoto, who founded the Japan Center for International Exchange and contributed to enhancing Japanese-U.S. relations via nongovernmental channels from the 1960s, died of gallbladder cancer at a Tokyo hospital Sunday, the center said. He was 76.

Yamamoto launched the Shimoda Conference in 1967 as a private-sector forum for Japanese and U.S. intellectuals to discuss bilateral issues and established the JCIE in 1970 to boost nongovernmental exchanges between the two countries.

A Tokyo native, Yamamoto was a member of a security and defense policy panel launched in February 2010 by then Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama and reactivated the Shimoda Conference in February 2011 after a 17-year hiatus.