Former Japanese Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone died at the age of 101, according to sources on Friday.
Nakasone served as Japan’s premier from November 1982 to November 1987.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has made loosening the limits of the U.S.-drafted constitution a key goal but revising the charter’s pacifist Article Nine remains contentious.
Nakasone also broke an unwritten rule on limiting the annual defence budget to 1 per cent of the gross national product.
In 1983, he became the first Japanese premier to officially visit South Korea, mending fences with a country that Japan had brutally colonised from 1910 to 1945.
In 1986 he offended blacks, Puerto Ricans and Mexicans living in the United States by saying they brought the average intelligence level of Americans below that of Japan.
Nakasone won a rare fifth year in office after leading his Liberal Democratic Party to a landslide victory in 1986 elections. But his career was shadowed by links to a huge political scandal, a stocks-for-favours scam.
He quit the LDP in 1989 over the scandal but two years later was welcomed back as a senior adviser.
He was born in Gunma Prefecture’s Takasaki City in 1918, Nakasone entered politics in 1947, securing a seat in Japan’s House of Representatives, or lower house of parliament, and went on to hold his seat for 20 successive elections.