Okiharu Yasuoka, Japanese politician, Died at 79

Okiharu Yasuoka was born on May 11, 1939, and died on April 19, 2019, due to cancer, he was a Japanese politician of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), a member of the House of Representatives in the Diet (national legislature).

A native of Kagoshima Prefecture and graduate of Chuo University, he was chosen to the House of Representatives for the first time in 1972 as an independent.

Okiharu later joined the LDP and served as the Minister of Justice from 2000 to 2001. He was then returned to the post of Minister of Justice under Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda on 1 August 2008.

Okiharu Yasuoka was a licensed lawyer. He left the LDP in 1994 to join the now-defunct Shinshinto party but returned to the LDP in 1995. Yasuoka is known to work himself and his staff very long hours.

He was one of the key members in the launch of Fukuda’s administration in 2007. Yasuoka also chairs the LDP’s Constitution Research Commission.

An avid jogger and swimmer, Okiharu has frequently swum the 2.1 km-wide Kinko Bay in Kagoshima Prefecture.

In October 2017, Okiharu lost his seat to Hiroshi Kawauchi of the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan.

Okiharu Yasuoka passed away of cancer on April 19, 2019, at a Tokyo hospital, at the age of 79.