Former Japan Diplomat Yukio Okamoto, Adviser to Premiers, Dies From CCP virus

May 8, 2020 Updated: May 8, 2020

TOKYO—Former Japanese diplomat Yukio Okamoto, a one-time adviser to prime ministers and expert on ties with the United States, died late last month after contracting the CCP virus, his consultancy confirmed on May 8.

After retiring from the foreign ministry in 1991, Okamoto, 74, served as an adviser to then-prime minister Ryutaro Hashimoto on thorny issues related to Okinawa, home to the bulk of U.S. troops in Japan.

Yukio Okamoto (L), with American World War II prisoner of war James Murphy (2nd R), Hikaru Kimura (2nd L), and Rabbi Abraham Cooper (R) at Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles on July 19, 2015. (Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images)

He also advised then-prime minister Junichiro Koizumi from 2001-2004 and was a research fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Center for International Studies.

“This is a shock. And from the CCP virus!” said Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike in a tweet.

A well-known commentator who often appeared on TV, Okamoto was head of a political and economic consultancy.

Japan has not had the explosive surge of CCP virus infections seen in many countries, but as of Friday midday, it had more than 15,500 confirmed cases including 590 deaths, NHK said.

Epoch Times staff contributed to this report