Iccho Itoh

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Iccho Itoh
伊藤 一長
Mayor of Nagasaki
In office
1 May 1995 – 18 April 2007
Preceded by Hitoshi Motoshima
Succeeded by Tomihisa Taue
Personal details
Born (1945-08-23)August 23, 1945
Nagato, Yamaguchi, Japan
Died April 18, 2007(2007-04-18) (aged 61)
Nagasaki, Japan
Political party Liberal Democratic Party[1]
Alma mater Waseda University

Iccho Itoh (伊藤 一長, Itō Itchō, August 23, 1945 – April 18, 2007), born Kazunaga Itō (伊藤 一長, Itō Kazunaga), was the mayor of the Japanese city of Nagasaki; he first took office in 1995. He was a graduate from Waseda University, and majored in political science.


He served as a member of the city assembly and later the prefectural assembly before he was elected as the mayor.[2] As the mayor of the city where an atomic bomb was dropped just two weeks before his birth, he made a speech at the International Court of Justice in the Hague on November 7, 1995 and stressed that the use of nuclear weapons is a violation of international law.[citation needed]


On April 17, 2007, while campaigning for re-election for his fourth term, he was shot twice in the back at point-blank range in front of his campaign office outside the Nagasaki train station.[2] Itoh was taken to the Nagasaki University Hospital, where he died early the next morning due to loss of blood.[3] Police arrested Tetsuya Shiroo on suspicion of the murder after he was detained by Itoh's entourage following the shooting. Shiroo was a senior member of the Yamaguchi-gumi, an organized crime group.[2] As for the motive, "Shiroo reportedly clashed with Nagasaki city officials in 2003 after his car was damaged when he drove into a hole at the construction site."[4] There are also rumours that it was related to city construction projects.[5] The Nagasaki District Court sentenced Shiroo to death on May 26, 2008,[6] but the Fukuoka High Court revoked the death sentence.[7]

A new mayoral election was held on April 22, 2007. Makoto Yokoo (橫尾 誠, Yokoo Makoto), Itoh's son-in-law, and Tomihisa Taue (田上 富久, Taue Tomihisa), a city official, filed for candidacy.[8] Taue was elected.[9]

Itoh was the second mayor of Nagasaki to be shot; his immediate predecessor Hitoshi Motoshima (本島 等, Motoshima Hitoshi) was shot in 1990, but survived.


His first name was originally pronounced Kazunaga with kun-yomi, but he elected to use more euphonious on-yomi form of Itchō for his mayoralty.[10]

Itoh's name was romanized as Itcho Ito by Mainichi Shimbun,[11] Reuters,[3] and Al-Jazeera.[12] CNN used the Iccho Ito romanization.[13] The Asahi Shimbun used Iccho Itoh.[14] Itoh spelled his name as Iccho Itoh in his English letter to George W. Bush.[15]


  1. ^ Nagasaki mayor is shot and killed - International Herald Tribune
  2. ^ a b c Kyodo News (2007-04-18). "Nagasaki Mayor Ito dies after being shot by gangster; police raid suspect's home". Japan Today. Retrieved 2007-04-18. [permanent dead link]
  3. ^ a b George Nishiyama (2007-04-17). "Mayor of Japanese city dies after being shot". Reuters. Retrieved 2007-04-18. 
  4. ^ "Nagasaki mayor is shot and killed". Retrieved 2007-04-19. 
  5. ^ 明報新聞網
  6. ^ "Gangster convicted, sentenced to death in Japanese mayor shooting". International Herald Tribune. 2008-05-26. Retrieved 2008-05-26. 
  7. ^ "Death sentence overturned in slaying of Nagasaki mayor". Asahi Shimbun. 2009-09-30. Archived from the original on October 3, 2009. Retrieved 2009-11-07. 
  8. ^ Kyodo News (2007-04-19). "Funeral held for slain Nagasaki mayor, son-in-law runs for election". Retrieved 2007-04-19. 
  9. ^ "Ex-city official defeats murdered mayor's son-in-law in Nagasaki election". Mainichi Daily News. 2007-04-23. 
  10. ^ "わたしのプロフィール (Nagasaki City Website)" (in Japanese). Archived from the original on 2007-02-14. Retrieved 2007-04-19. 
  11. ^ "Nagasaki mayor dies after being shot by gangster" Mainichi Daily News 19 April 2007
  12. ^ "Japanese mayor shot dead" Al-Jazeera .net 18 April 2007
  13. ^ "Murdered mayor sparks Japanese fears" Archived 2007-04-17 at the Wayback Machine. CNN 18 April 2007
  14. ^ "Nagasaki Mayor Itoh dies after being shot by gang member" The Asahi Shimbun 18 April 2007
  15. ^ "Protest against a Nuclear Test conducted by the United States of America". 2006-08-31. Archived from the original on 2007-02-04. Retrieved 2007-04-24. 

External links

  • Japan PM denounces mayor's death BBC, April 18, 2007
  • Reuters article
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