Former Japanese Pm Yasuhiro Nakasone Dies At 101

Former Japanese PM Yasuhiro Nakasone dies at 101

Former Japanese prime minister Yasuhiro Nakasone has died. He was known for forging strong ties with the US and privatizing industries.

Nakasone was the last living prime minister who'd served in the Showa Era.

He was born in Gunma Prefecture in 1918. After graduating from university, he took a job at the then-Home Ministry, and served as a naval officer during World War Two.

In 1947, he ran for the Lower House of the Diet and kept his seat for 20 straight terms.

He held several cabinet and party executive posts before becoming Japan's 71st prime minister in 1982. He served for about five years.

During his tenure, he became the first postwar prime minister to officially visit Yasukuni Shrine, which honors Japan's war dead, including leaders convicted of war crimes after World War Two. But he refrained from further visits following strong criticism from China and other countries.

Current prime minister Shinzo Abe issued a statement praising Nakasone's accomplishments and expressing deep sorrow over the news.

In the 80s, Nakasone forged a strong friendship with then US president Ronald Reagan. They called each other "Ron" and "Yasu."

Nakasone was a strong proponent of amending Japan's postwar constitution -- a dream he was unable to fulfill.

Yasuhiro Nakasone was 101 years old.