Former All Nippon Airways president Tokuji Wakasa dies of pneumonia at 91
TOKYO – Tokuji Wakasa, the former president of All Nippon Airways Co. who was convicted of graft in the Lockheed Scandal, one the country’s biggest post-World War II bribery cases, died Tuesday. He was 91.Wakasa, once dubbed “don of the air industry” in Japan, died of pneumonia at a Tokyo hospital, one of his three sons told The Associated Press from the family home in Fuchu, on the outskirts of Tokyo. The son declined to be identified by name.After 31 years at the transport ministry, including as vice transport minister, Wakasa joined ANA in 1969 and was promoted to president the following year, taking ANA from a domestic to international carrier and into the hotel business.In 1976, Wakasa was arrested and prosecuted for accepting about 163 million yen ($1.39 million) in bribes from Lockheed Corp. in return for the introduction of the U.S. aircraft maker’s passenger jets.In 1992, he sentenced by the Supreme Court to three years in prison. The sentence was suspended for five years, and he was pardoned in 1996.Sixteen people, including former Prime Minister Kakuei Tanaka, were indicted in the scandal.Tanaka was convicted in 1983 and sentenced to four years in prison, although he was allowed to remain free pending appeals. Tanaka was forced to resign as prime minister in 1974 and died of pneumonia in 1993 at age 75.Despite the scandal, Wakasa continued to exert his influence at the Tokyo-based ANA as chairman and honorary chairman, helping it become Japan’s No. 2 carrier. He became ANA’s adviser in 1998.