U.S. agronomist Norman Borlaug had deep links with Japan and helped crossbreed a wheat seed it developed with other varieties to help other nations boost food output.

Borlaug, who became known as the "Father of the Green Revolution" and received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1970, died at age 95 in Texas the day before Seattle Mariners outfielder Ichiro Suzuki became the first major leaguer to reach 200 hits in nine consecutive seasons during a game there on Sept. 13.

The news went virtually unreported in Japan following Suzuki's feat, but major U.S. newspapers carried Borlaug's death as a top story.

Borlaug's connection with Japan originated in a wheat seed named Norin 10, which was taken to the United States after the war through the GHQ. At the time, he was carrying out research on how to improve wheat in Mexico.

Norin 10 was developed in 1935 by Gonjiro Inazuka, who was the chief engineer at the Iwate Prefectural Agriculture Experiment Center and one of the driving forces behind the Green Revolution, which led to a sharp improvement in wheat production.

Borlaug focused his attention on the semidwarf Japanese wheat, crossbred it with existing varieties and succeeded in developing a new kind of seed.

That seed helped Mexico emerge from starvation. It was introduced to other countries, including India and Pakistan, where highly successful wheat yields followed.

An account of the planting of the seed and its results is given in Borlaug's biography "The Man Who Fed the World."

Although the Green Revolution has been criticized for increasing use of chemical fertilizers and boosting the seed business, there is little doubt it saved hundreds of millions of lives.