Kakuei TanakaJapanese kingmakerKakuei Tanaka, Japan's former prime...


Kakuei Tanaka

Japanese kingmaker

Kakuei Tanaka, Japan's former prime minister who resigned in disgrace in 1974, died yesterday of pneumonia. He was 75.

Mr. Tanaka, who was known as the "Shadow Shogun" because of his political influence, was first elected to Parliament in 1947 and was re-elected from his constituency in northern Japan 16 times.

Over the years, he built up one of the Liberal Democratic Party's most powerful factions. He became prime minister in 1972.

As prime minister he opened diplomatic relations with Communist China and advocated a policy of redistributing industry across the nation.

Two years after he assumed office, he was forced to resign. He was dogged by questions about his personal fortune, allegations of tax evasion, and widespread criticism that his economic policies sparked inflation.

Mr. Tanaka, who held on to his seat in Parliament until 1989, remained free on appeal. That appeal was unresolved when he died.


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