• Kyodo


A private funeral for Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Toshikatsu Matsuoka was held Wednesday at a temple in his hometown of Aso, Kumamoto Prefecture, two days after he committed suicide in Tokyo.

Among those attending the service were Kumamoto Gov. Yoshiko Shiotani and executive members of the Liberal Democratic Party.

Full text of suicide note left for public

Kyodo News

The following is the full translation of a letter to the public left behind by farm minister Toshikatsu Matsuoka, who committed suicide Monday. The letter was one of eight suicide notes found at his residence in a parliamentary housing facility in Tokyo’s Akasaka District, where he was found hanged.

“Dear people and supporters:

“I apologize from the bottom of my heart for causing a disturbance and trouble with my lack of clarity and virtue.

“With my death, I would like to take the responsibility and apologize.

“Please forgive me.

“I ask for you to show mercy toward the people who are left behind.

“Prime Minister Abe, the country of Japan, banzai.”

May 28, 19th year of Heisei, Toshikatsu Matsuoka

“I’m filled with sincere condolences. This will be a painful day for his family members,” Shiotani said.

“I suppose he agonized over a number of matters,” said Takeshi Noda, an LDP House of Representatives member also from Kumamoto Prefecture.

Matsuoka, 62, died Monday afternoon at a Tokyo hospital after he was found hanging in his living room at a parliamentary housing complex in Tokyo’s Akasaka District.

Eight suicide notes were found in the room, leading police to conclude that Matsuoka, who was mired in a series of political funds scandals, had taken his own life.

On Tuesday, Matsuoka’s body was returned to Kumamoto, where about 2,000 people attended his wake.

After working for the agriculture ministry from 1969 to 1988, the six-term lawmaker won election to the House of Representatives in 1990.

In 2006, Matsuoka was given his first Cabinet post when Prime Minister Shinzo Abe became prime minister. But he soon came under fire for political funding irregularities and was asked to resign from the post by opposition lawmakers.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.