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Former Japan top official Nobuo Ishihara dies at 96

Bureaucrat served record seven governments as deputy chief cabinet secretary

Nobuo Ishihara served the top administrative position in a record seven cabinets. He died Jan. 29 from multiple organ failure. (Photo by Akiyoshi Inoue)

TOKYO -- Nobuo Ishihara, who served as Japan's deputy chief cabinet secretary, the top administrative position in the cabinet, for a record seven governments, died Sunday from multiple organ failure. He was 96.

After graduating from the Faculty of Law at the University of Tokyo, he joined the former Agency for Local Government (now the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications). He served as head of the Finance Bureau and as administrative vice minister of the former Ministry for Home Affairs. He became deputy chief cabinet secretary in 1987, assisting the work of seven cabinets, from the government of Prime Minister Noboru Takeshita's through the premiership of Tomiichi Murayama. His total tenure of seven years and three months in that post is the third-longest in Japanese history.

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