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Former Japanese Communist Party Vice Chairman Koichiro Ueda died Thursday of chronic respiratory failure at a Tokyo hospital, the JCP said. He was 81.

A native of Chigasaki, Kanagawa Prefecture, Ueda joined the JCP in 1946 as a student at the University of Tokyo and worked for the party’s central committee from 1964.

The former House of Councilors member served as editor in chief of the party magazine Zenei and head of the editorial bureau of the party newspaper Akahata.

He was the elder brother of ex-JCP Central Committee Chairman Tetsuzo Fuwa, whose real name is Kenjiro Ueda.

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