Osamu Inaba; Helped Reveal Lockheed Scandal
Osamu Inaba, who as justice minister helped bring down Prime Minister Kakuei Tanaka in the 1976 Lockheed scandal, died of pneumonia at a Tokyo hospital Saturday, his family said. He was 82.
During Inaba’s tenure as justice minister, he sought information from the United States about the payoff scandal and played a key role in arresting Tanaka.
Tanaka was convicted of receiving about $2 million in bribes from the Lockheed Corp. in 1972 to promote the sale of its aircraft in Japan while he was in office.
Inaba came under fire within the governing Liberal Democratic Party for approving Tanaka’s arrest and later for criticizing Tanaka’s still-powerful faction within the party. But Inaba was praised by opposition political groups and the public.
Inaba was first elected to the lower house of parliament in 1949 and was reelected 13 times until his retirement in December, 1987. He lost only one election.
Most recently, he served on the 13-member grand champion selection committee for sumo wrestling, a traditional Japanese sport.