Tetsu Ueda, ardent guardian of the pacifist Constitution and a former lawmaker from the now-defunct Japan Socialist Party, died Wednesday of pneumonia at a Tokyo hospital, his family said Friday. He was 80.
A private wake and funeral will be attended by family members, but a public farewell gathering will be held later, they said.
Ueda was first elected in 1968 to the House of Councilors.
In 1979, he won a seat in the House of Representatives and went on to serve five terms in the lower chamber, where he was known for his sharp questions in Budget Committee and other parliamentary deliberations.
After losing in a Lower House election in 1993, he left the JSP, the predecessor of the Social Democratic Party, and launched a constitutionalist party called Akatsuki in 1995.
He ran in the Tokyo gubernatorial election in 1995, a Lower House by-election in 1998 and the Upper House election in 2001, but never won a public seat again.
Before becoming a lawmaker, he was a reporter for NHK and chaired the broadcasting workers’ union.
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