WORLD : Japan Journalist Beaten to Death

From Times wire services

An award-winning newspaper columnist died today after being beaten by two youths he had approached to complain about noise from their idling car and motorcycle engines, police said.

Masahiro Yoshino of the national newspaper Mainichi Shimbun, who won a Japan Press Club award in 1987 for his column “Pieces from Recent Events” and an award of the Japan Newspaper Editors and Publishers Assn. in 1964 for his coverage of organized violence by gangsters, died at a hospital five hours after he was punched and kicked by the young men, who fled in a car.

A police official said Yoshino, 56, was beaten Monday night in front of a small railway station in Fujisawa, 30 miles southwest of Tokyo.