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Inejiro Asanuma
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Politician
    (December 27, 1898-October 12, 1960)
    Born in Miyake-Jima, Japan
    Member of the Japanese House of Representatives for Tokyo’s 1st District (1936-42,1946-60)
    Chair of the Japan Socialist Party (March 23-October 12, 1960)
    Fatally stabbed with a traditional sword by an ultranationalist during a televised debate
    Ironically, he started as a right-wing, pro-military nationalist before becoming a socialist.
    He became an outspoken supporter of Mao Zedong and Chinese Communism, sometimes drawing rebukes from other socialist leaders.
    During a visit to China, he called the United States ‘the shared enemy of China and Japan,’ and on his return he disembarked from his plane wearing a Mao suit (1959).
    After his assassination, a riot broke out in which 60 students and 22 police were injured.
    He was raised by his father after his mother died in childbirth.
    He began questioning his support for Japan’s militarism after the Battle of Midway.
    A photo of the assassination taken by Yasushi Nagao won a Pulitzer Prize and the World Press Photo of the Year Award.

Credit: C. Fishel


 
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