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Minoru Genda, Pearl Harbor attack planner, dead at 84

TOKYO -- Former Imperial Navy pilot Minoru Genda, who joined in planning the Pearl Harbor attack that triggered the Pacific War in 1941, died Tuesday -- the 43rd anniversary of Japan's defeat in the war. He was 84.

Genda was admitted Aug. 4 to Minami Takai Hospital in Matsuyama on Shikoku, Japan's smallest main island. He died of heart failure, the hospital said.

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The native of Hiroshima was a staff officer of the Japanese navy's 1st Air Fleet, which launched the surprise attack on the U.S. Navy base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on Dec. 8, 1941, which prompted the United States' entry into World War II.

A 1937 graduate of Japan's Navy Academy, Genda was one of the Imperial Navy's ace pilots.

Genda joined the Japan Air Self-Defense Force in 1954 and was promoted in 1959 to chief of the air force's staff.

Genda was elected to the upper house of the Diet, Japan's parliament, in 1962 as a member of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party and since has been returned to the chamber four times.

Genda was known as a 'hawkish' member of the LDP and served as leader of the party's national defense committee. He retired from politics in 1986.

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