Ex-LDP lawmaker Hamada dies at 83

Kyodo

Former House of Representatives legislator Koichi Hamada, who was known as an outspoken member of the Diet, died of heart failure Sunday at his home, his family said. He was 83.

The Chiba Prefecture native was first elected to the Lower House in 1969 and served seven terms with the Liberal Democratic Party before retiring in 1993.

Nicknamed “Hamako,” Hamada was known for causing commotion through words and actions during his time in the ruling party. He served in several senior Diet and party posts, including as chairman of the influential Lower House budget committee, but never held a ministerial post.

After retirement, he made frequent appearances TV talk shows and entertainment programs.

Hamada was facing breach of trust allegations related to a ¥200 million loan he took out in 2005. He was arrested and indicted in August 2010 for selling off shares he put up as collateral for the loan but was released on bail the following month.