The Baltimore Sun

KIICHI MIYAZAWA, 87 Former Japan prime minister

Former Japanese Prime Minister Kiichi Miyazawa, who served from 1991 until 1993, died Thursday of natural causes at his home in Tokyo, said Shigeru Muta, an aide to Mr. Miyazawa's lawmaker nephew, Yoichi Miyazawa.

The statesman, who was first elected to parliament in 1953, returned to high-profile politics late in life in 1998 when he was named finance minister by then-Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi. He retired in 2003.

Despite being at the helm as prime minister during Japan's long-term economic malaise, he was well-regarded as an architect of the government's plan to bail out its debt-laden banking system.

However, his term as premier was short, ending as he was hounded by scandal and toppled as leader of the long-ruling Liberal Democratic Party.

Mr. Miyazawa came from a family of prominent politicians. His father was a member of parliament; his grandfather was a Cabinet minister. One brother was a governor and another an ambassador.

An avid student of English, he acted as interpreter in Washington talks between Japan's finance minister and Secretary of State John Foster Dulles after World War II.

EMILIO OCHOA, 99 Cuban politician

Emilio Ochoa, believed to be the last remaining signer of Cuba's 1940 constitution, died Wednesday of cardiac arrest at his Miami home, his son-in-law Rafael Sosa said.

Born July 4, 1907, Mr. Ochoa was elected a senator in 1940 and served until 1948.

In 1960, Mr. Ochoa fled Cuba but returned to the island a year later, hoping Cuba's 1940 constitution would be revived after the Bay of Pigs invasion. He left Cuba for good in the early 1960s.

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