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Akira Hatano, a former superintendent general of the Metropolitan Police Department who later served as justice minister, died of kidney failure Wednesday at a hospital in Kawasaki, his family said Friday. He was 91.

Hatano joined the prewar Home Ministry after graduating from Nihon University in 1937 and went on to become MPD chief.

After retiring from the Tokyo police, Hatano, a native of Fujisawa, Kanagawa Prefecture, ran unsuccessfully for Tokyo governor in 1971 with support from the Liberal Democratic Party.

He was elected to the House of Councilors from the Kanagawa constituency in 1974 and was re-elected six years later. He was appointed justice minister in 1982 under then Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone. He was also known for his remark: “Looking for politicians with ethics is like looking for fish in a vegetable store.”

He quit politics in 1986 and later appeared on television as a political commentator.

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