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Masatoshi Matsushita; Lawyer Defended Tojo After World War II

December 25, 1986|From Times Wire Services

TOKYO — Masatoshi Matsushita, an educator, politician and attorney who defended former Prime Minister Hideki Tojo at war crimes trials after World War II, died Tuesday of a lung infection. He was 85.

Matsushita, who also was at the forefront of Japanese efforts to ban development of the hydrogen bomb and end nuclear testing, was an attorney for Tojo at the International Military Court of the Far East in 1946. Tojo was convicted as a war criminal and hanged in 1948.

From 1955 to 1967, Matsushita was president of St. Paul's University, known in Japanese as Rikkyo University, which he also attended. He also studied at Columbia University in the United States.

Matsushita was sent around the world as a personal envoy of the Japanese prime minister in the 1950s to urge a halt to nuclear testing.

A native of Aomori prefecture in northern Japan, he was elected to Japan's House of Councillors as a member of the Democratic Socialist Party in 1968 and later waged an unsuccessful campaign for the Tokyo governorship.

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