• JIJI, Kyodo

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Conservative critic Susumu Nishibe died on Sunday of an apparent suicide, the police said. He was 78.

The police said they received an emergency call at around 6:40 a.m. from his eldest son, 48, who said Nishibe had dived into the Tama River in the Denenchofu district in Tokyo’s Ota Ward.

Officers rushed to the scene and pulled the man out of the river, but he was confirmed dead at a hospital about two hours later. The man was identified as Nishibe.

The Denenchofu Police Station is investigating his death as an apparent suicide.

Nishibe went missing early Sunday. His son, who went to look for him after reporting that he was missing, saw him enter the river and called the police. What appeared to be a suicide note was found on the riverside.

The critic, from Hokkaido, was a guest on late-night television debate programs and had worked as a professor at the University of Tokyo.

Though he was known as a conservative, he differed from mainstream conservatives who are typically pro-American. He was critical of the way Japan grew into an economic superpower after the war by relying on the United States for security and advocated that Japan strengthen its defensive capabilities to become independent from the U.S.

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