• Kyodo

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Minoru Makihara, a former president of Mitsubishi Corp. who played an active role in Japanese and U.S. business circles, has died of heart failure at his home, the major trading house said Monday. He was 90.

A graduate of Harvard University, Makihara served as chair on the Japan-U.S. Business Council, an external board member of American technology firm International Business Machines Corp., or IBM, and vice chairman of the Japan Business Federation, also known as Keidanren.

After becoming president of Mitsubishi in June 1992, the Tokyo native streamlined businesses that became unprofitable during the asset-inflated bubble economy from the late 1980s to early 1990s.

As Mitsubishi and other trading houses were hit by a downturn in natural resource prices, Makihara restored the fiscal health of the company and paved the way for the expansion of its business and earnings.

His wife Kikuko is the great-granddaughter of industrialist Yataro Iwasaki, founder of the Mitsubishi zaibatsu conglomerate, which has now become the Mitsubishi group.

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