Ex-RCC chief Nakabo, leader of housing loan cleanup, dies at 83

Kyodo

Kohei Nakabo, former lawyer and president of the state-backed debt collection body known as the Resolution and Collection Corporation, died of heart failure Friday at the age of 83, his family said Sunday.

A private funeral was held the same day, his family said.

An outspoken and high-profile lawyer who also chaired the Japan Federation of Bar Associations, Nakabo became head of Housing Loan Administration Corp., the RCC’s predecessor, in July 1996, when the nation was mired in the “jusen” housing loan crisis.

The body’s mission was to collect the huge amount of soured loans issued by seven failed mortgage firms.

Nakabo resigned as RCC adviser in January 2001 after being questioned by prosecutors over allegations that he swindled a creditor. He was not prosecuted, but gave up his legal practice in 2003 to take responsibility for the incident.

A Kyoto University graduate, Nakabo became a lawyer in 1957. He has participated in many famous lawsuits, including leading a team of lawyers assisting victims who consumed arsenic-tainted powdered milk in the mid-1950s.

He also headed the legal team for residents of Teshima Island in the Seto Inland Sea who filed a lawsuit in connection with the illegal dumping of industrial waste on their island.