National

Ex-Toshiba chief Taizo Nishimuro, prominent business leader, dead at 81

Kyodo

Taizo Nishimuro, a former president of technology conglomerate Toshiba Corp. and a leading figure in the Japanese business community, has died at age 81, a Toshiba source said Wednesday.

Nishimuro had also headed Japan Post Holdings Co. and Tokyo Stock Exchange Inc. The date and cause of his death were not immediately known.

After joining one of Toshiba’s predecessors in 1961, Nishimuro assumed the presidency in 1996 and pushed through corporate reforms. He later carried out streamlining measures as its semiconductor business struggled and the home appliance market slumped.

Afterward, he became chairman of the Tokyo Stock Exchange, with his tenure kept busy by computer glitches and the trading scandal involving Livedoor Co.

Nishimuro became president of Japan Post in 2013. He managed the postal behemoth’s triple stock listing in November 2015 but stepped down in 2016 after he was hospitalized.

He was also a vice chairman of Keidanren, the nation’s most powerful business lobby, from 2001 to 2005.

Nishimuro served as co-chairman of the New Japan-China Friendship Committee for the 21st Century, a panel tasked with examining fields ranging from politics and economics to culture to improve bilateral relations.

The prominent executive chaired an advisory panel to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe that put forward recommendations on Abe’s statement to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II in August 2015.

Nishimuro called it quits as an adviser to Toshiba in March 2016, a post he had held since 2005, as the company reshuffled its management amid an accounting scandal.