• Kyodo, Staff Report


Atsushi Shimokobe, a former senior bureaucrat and a key architect for national development projects in postwar Japan, has died, it was learned Tuesday. He was 92.

Shimokobe was administrative vice land minister from 1977 through 1979.

He played a central role in drawing up and revising the Comprehensive National Development Plan. The plan, revised four times between 1962 and 1998, included blueprints for a number of large construction projects, such as expressways and bullet-train lines.

The government stopped revising the plan in 1998 following public criticism over what were deemed wasteful public works projects amid ballooning government debt.

Born in 1923 in Tokyo, Shimokobe graduated from the University in Tokyo in 1947. He served as the president of the think tank Nippon Institute for Research Advancement from 1979 through 1991. He had a doctorate in engineering.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.