• Kyodo News


Former Tokyo Gov. Yukio Aoshima died Wednesday of myelodysplastic syndrome, a blood disorder, at a hospital in Tokyo, his family said. He was 74.

Aoshima had also been a scriptwriter, an actor, a novelist and a Diet member.

Born in Tokyo, Aoshima graduated from Waseda University’s school of commerce in 1955. He moved on to Waseda’s graduate school, but dropped out.

While at Waseda, he wrote his first script for comedians and then began writing scripts for television.

As an actor, he played the main character in the popular TV drama “Ijiwaru Ba-san” (“Mean Old Woman”).

In 1968, he became an Upper House member and served five terms — 24 years in the Diet.

Aoshima ran as an independent in the 1995 Tokyo gubernatorial election and won, beating other candidates backed by major political parties. As he promised in his election campaign, he canceled the hosting of the World City Expo in Tokyo’s Odaiba waterfront district that was planned for 1996, disrupting several large construction projects.

After stepping down as governor in 1999, he resumed activities as an entertainer.

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