Prosecutor general Yoshinaga dies at 81


Former Prosecutor General Yusuke Yoshinaga, who led probes into a 1970s bribery scandal involving the late Prime Minister Kakuei Tanaka, earning the sobriquet “Mr. Prosecutor,” died of pneumonia Sunday at a Tokyo hospital, his family said Friday. He was 81.

Yoshinaga, who became a prosecutor in 1955 and served in the special investigative squad of the Tokyo District Public Prosecutor’s Office for a total of 13 years and eight months, led investigations into the Lockheed scandal, Japan’s largest postwar bribery case. The probe led to the arrest and conviction of Tanaka.

A native of Okayama Prefecture, Yoshinaga also pursued the shares-for-favors scandal in the 1980s involving Recruit Co., a classified ad conglomerate. The firm offered shares in its subsidiary set to go public to politicians, government officials and business leaders in exchange for favors to help it expand.

Fellow prosecutors called him “the god of investigations” for his investigative methods.