Japan's Prime Minister, Masayoshi Ohira, died today (12 June) in Tokyo, after a heart attack.
GV/CU Members of Japanese cabinet posing for photographers with Masayoshi Ohira third from right. (front) (3 shots)
SV Ohira shaking hands with Takeo Fukuda and other parliamentary leaders after being elected leader of the Liberal Democratic party
SV Members applauding
MV Ohira and members of party shouting Bansai (3 shots)
CU Chairman Hau PAN TO Vice Premier Gu Mu and Ohira and Vice Premier Okita
CU Vice Premier GU Mu and Okita signing documents
MV Two Premiers exchange documents and Ohira makes speech and four readers toast one another (3 shots)
SV Japanese with flags listen to election campaign speech by Ohira (3 shots)
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Background: Japan's Prime Minister, Masayoshi Ohira, died today (12 June) in Tokyo, after a heart attack. He was 70. He is the first Japanese leader to die in office since the end of the second world war.
SYNOPSIS: Mr. Ohira was elected to Parliament in 1952 and later held key posts within the Liberal Democratic Party. Here, third from right in front, he poses with Kakuei Tanaka's newly-formed cabinet in 1972.
Six years later he was elected leader of the ruling L.D.P. This followed the resignation of the incumbent Prime Minister, Takeo Fukuda, following a defeat in a primary election.
Mr. Ohira's first task as leader was an attempt to placate battling factions within his party. But even now, with General Elections due to take place just ten days after his death, internal divisions jeopardise the Liberal Democrats' chances of re-election.
In contrast to his predecessors, Mr. Ohira advocated that Japan should play a greater role in international affairs. Last month Chinese Premier Hua Guofeng called on Japan to help China resist "expansion schemes and provocation of war by aggressors". Chinese Vice Premier Gu Mu signed a Sino-Japanese scientific and technological agreement with Mr. Ohira's Foreign Minister and deputy, Saburo Okita. Mr. Ohira made it clear that he would not join China and the United States in an alliance against the Soviet Union. But he did promise continued support from Japan for China's modernisation programme.
The Japanese Prime Minister threw the country into another general election last month after an influential section of his party refused to support the government in a vital no-confidence motion. The election, due to take place on the 22nd of June, could end 25 years of single-party rule y the Liberal Democrats. The man to replace Mr. Ohira as party leader won't be known till after those elections.