Former Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama offered a eulogy Tuesday in the Diet for the late Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi, expressing his sorrow and regret over Obuchi’s death earlier this month.
“It is a matter of the greatest regret to the chamber and the nation to lose you,” Murayama, a member of the Social Democratic Party of Japan, said during a Lower House plenary session.
Obuchi’s family members, including his widow, Chizuko, and his second daughter, Yuko, who has announced plans to run in Obuchi’s electoral district in Gunma Prefecture in the next general election, were present and on their feet as they listened to the eulogy.
Murayama said Obuchi’s decision to hold the Group of Eight summit in Okinawa and to adopt the Antipersonnel Land Mine Ban Treaty when he was foreign minister were among his remarkable achievements as a politician.
“Your decision to hold the summit in Okinawa shows your faithfulness as a politician,” Murayama said. “You could not ignore the pain of the Okinawan people.”
Murayama, who has announced his intention to retire from politics, added that Obuchi tackled issues concerning Okinawa because he was well aware of the history of the prefecture, where over 230,000 lives were lost during the Battle of Okinawa in World War II.