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Hideo Akimoto, a veteran newscaster and critic, died Thursday of heart failure at a hospital in Chiba city, his relatives said. He was 75.

Akimoto, a Tokyo native, started as a reporter for the Yomiuri Shimbun before becoming a political commentator with Nippon Television Network Corp.

Akimoto also served as an anchor of the TV news magazine show Joho Desk Today with Tokyo Broadcasting System Inc.

Nobuyuki Kawata

LOS ANGELES (Kyodo) Nobuyuki Kawata, a Japanese-American heart specialist who helped to develop a world-renowned heart transplant program, died on March 27 from lung disease at the UCLA medical center, sources close to his family said Thursday. He was 81.

Kawata, originally from Fresno, Calif., served as a professor of medicine at the University of California in Los Angeles from 1993 and helped to develop UCLA’s heart transplant program.

During World War II, Kawata was sent with his family to an internment camp because of his ethnic background. As a result of that experience, he subsequently devoted much of his time to supporting the rights of Japanese-Americans.

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