Former trade minister Mitsuo Horiuchi dies at 86


Former trade minister Mitsuo Horiuchi died Tuesday, lawmakers close to him said. He was 86.

Born in 1930 in Lushun in what was then called Manchuria in northeastern China, Horiuchi was elected to the Lower House for the first time in 1976 from a district in Yamanashi Prefecture. He served 10 terms in the Lower House.

A former president of a Yamanashi-based railway operator, he served as chairman of the Liberal Democratic Party’s General Council as well as labor minister and trade minister.

Horiuchi at one point defected from the LDP but returned to the party in 2006. After failing to secure a seat in the Lower House election in 2009, he resigned from politics.