Former Liberal Democratic Party politician Kichiro Tazawa died Wednesday night of esophagus cancer at a hospital in Hirosaki, Aomori Prefecture, his family said Thursday. He was 83.
Tazawa had served in the Cabinet as the head of the farm ministry, Defense Agency and National Land Agency.
He was first elected to the House of Representatives in 1960 and served for 12 consecutive terms until he lost in the 1996 general election.
After leaving politics, he became president of Hirosaki Gakuin University, where he served until his death.