Former Japanese Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone, a giant of his country’s post-World War II politics, has died aged 101.
An ardent conservative who worked to forge a stronger military alliance with the United States, his death was confirmed by local media on Friday.
In office for five years from November 1982 to November 1987, Nakasone was known for trying to integrate the nation defeated in World War II as a full-fledged member of the West during the Cold War era.
It was a distinguished political career that saw him forge a relationship on the world stage with US President Ronald Reagan, and battle with bureaucrats at home to enact sweeping reforms.
But while Nakasone, Prime Minister from 1982 to 1987, boosted Japan’s global profile, he failed to achieve his dream of revising the country’s pacifist, US-drafted constitution to clarify the ambiguous status of the military and bolster its international role.
He poured his efforts into strengthening security ties with the US at a time of intensifying trade friction with the world’s biggest economy, building a first-name friendship with America’s then president Ronald Reagan.
In his inaugural speech in 1982, Nakasone said Japan’s basic foreign policy is to become "a member of the free world led by Europe and the United States," and described the US as "the most important partner for Japan."
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