LDP faction leader Wataru Takeshita dies at 74

Wataru Takeshita, who led a major faction of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, has died at the age of 74, NHK reported on Saturday.

Takeshita died at his home in Tokyo on Friday, the state broadcaster said, citing unidentified sources.

The former chairman of the LDP general council was undergoing treatment after revealing in 2019 that he had been diagnosed with esophageal cancer. He returned to work the following November, but announced in July that he was retiring from politics for health reasons, ruling him out of the House of Representatives elections to be held this fall.

Wataru Takeshita | KYODO

“Being afflicted with an illness, I lose my physical and mental power and am in a state where I cannot confidently work for people,” Takeshita said in a statement at the time.

Takeshita started his career as a journalist at NHK and later became secretary to his older brother, Noboru Takeshita, in 1985. Noboru Takeshita was Prime Minister from 1987 to 1989.

Young Takeshita was elected seven times to the seat of Shimane previously held by his brother, first winning in 2000. He has held key government and party positions including minister of Reconstruction as well as the affairs of the PLD Diet. chief.

Members of his faction include Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi and Taimei Yamaguchi, the PLD’s head of electoral strategy.

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