Tokyo - Yoshio Sakurauchi, former speaker of the lower

house of Japan's parliament, died Saturday. He was 91.

Sakurauchi died of respiratory failure at a Tokyo hospital, hospital

officials said yesterday.

Beginning in 1947, Sakurauchi was elected 18 times to the lower house and

once to the less-powerful upper house. He retired from politics three years

ago. His father Yukio was also a lawmaker.

Born May 8, 1912, in Tokyo, Sakurauchi was minister of trade, agriculture,

construction and foreign affairs before serving as speaker of the lower house

in 1990-93. He also served in key policy-making posts within the Liberal

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Democratic Party.