Former Osaka Mayor Takafumi Isomura, who promoted Osaka as an international city capable of drawing more visitors from around the world, died of liver cancer Monday, his family said. He was 76.
Isomura was first elected mayor in 1995 and served two successive four-year terms.
Under his stewardship, Universal Studios Japan opened in Osaka in March 2001 with the city government gaining an equity stake in the Japanese unit of Universal Studios of the United States.
In 2003, Osaka hosted the World Judo Championships.
Before assuming office, Isomura was a professor of economics at Osaka City University, his alma mater, where he was later promoted to head the faculty of economics. He was a professor emeritus at the university.
The funeral service will be held Thursday at a memorial hall in the city. His son, Kazuhiko, will represent the family at the memorial service.