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Tsuneo Watanabe, chairman and chief editor of the Yomiuri Shimbun who doubles as chairman of the Yomiuri Giants baseball team, is one of the most influential figures in Japan as he reigns not only over the nation’s biggest media empire but also acts as a political fixer.

Since climbing the powerful daily’s corporate ladder starting from his days as a political reporter, Watanabe, nicknamed “Nabe-tsune,” has built close relationships with major politicians, including former Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone and Banboku Ono, former vice president of the once long-ruling Liberal Democratic Party.

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