• Kyodo


Centenarian journalist and antiwar activist Takeji Muno died Sunday at his home in the city of Saitama, his family announced. He was 101.

Known as the publisher of Taimatsu (Torch), a weekly newspaper, Muno’s articles included those that revealed his regret for not reporting the truth about Imperial Japan’s defeats in World War II and for participating in activities designed to boost morale, including false reports about victories.

Hailing from Akita Prefecture, he graduated from the predecessor of the Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, majoring in Spanish. He began working as a reporter during the Pacific War and joined the daily Asahi Shimbun in 1940.

After spending several years reporting from the battlefields as a foreign correspondent in China and Southeast Asia, he resigned from his post at the Asahi on Aug. 15, 1945, the day the war ended, to take responsibility for his coverage of the conflict.

After leaving the newspaper, he returned to Yokote, Akita Prefecture, where he founded Taimatsu in 1948 to publish articles on war and peace, problems plaguing farming villages and matters concerning education.

He published the weekly until 1978 and continued to work as a journalist, writing articles and books and giving lectures.

Muno remained active to the end. In one recent news conference, he criticized the administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe for ramming the divisive security bills through the Diet last September.

In May, Muno, in a wheelchair, appeared at a rally in a Tokyo park where some 50,000 people had gathered to call for the preservation of Japan’s pacifist Constitution and the scrapping of the security laws.

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