I deeply grieved at Mr. Ichiro Uchida’s death. He worked for the late Mr. Michio Watanabe, a well-known political figure, as his secretary for many years. When I ran for the election of members of the House of Representatives held in Kanagawa Prefecture in 1986 for the first time in my life, he took part in my election campaigns. Unfortunately, I was defeated in that election. Ever since that election, he visited my election headquarters to help me in promoting my political campaigns every time an election was held, and in normal times when there were no elections impending, he guided me the way to accumulate my political career as a Diet member. Soon after I transferred to the fifth electoral district of Fukuoka Prefecture in 1993 to prepare for the forthcoming election, Mr. Uchida got seriously ill, but despite his serious illness, he never forgot to take care of others. After I won the election in 1996, he would rush to my office in his wheelchair whenever I needed him, whether it was the Diet building in Tokyo or my office in Fukuoka. I still remember traveling with him around Washington D.C. in 1993 to meet with various people when the late Mr. Michio Watanabe was preparing to run for the Liberal Democratic Party presidential election.
I made it to his funeral, and the master of the funeral allowed me to express my condolences. I said, “Uchida-san, all of the politicians and diplomats whom you have taken care of are active in the front lines. I remember our traveling around Washington D.C. a long time ago. Joe Biden became the new President of the United States in January. Please give my regards to Mr. Watanabe.”
May his soul rest in peace.