Colin Luther Powell passed away on Oct. 18 due to complications from COVID-19. Many in Tokyo miss and respect him for being a man of many "racial firsts," including being the first American of African descent to become the U.S. national security adviser, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and secretary of state. He is arguably one of the most successful African Americans in U.S. political history.
Japan’s Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihiko Isozaki offered his condolences and said that Powell "was the first African American to serve as Secretary of State, who led U.S. diplomacy at a time when the fight against terrorism in the wake of the (9/11) attacks was extremely difficult.”
Isozaki also said, "Secretary Powell contributed to the development of a very close and good relationship between Japan and the United States.” Even the Asahi Shimbun newspaper, usually critical of the United States, carried an article about “A 'Good Guy' Beloved Across Party Lines, Mr. Powell Embodied Consensus Building.”