Memorial hall honoring ex-House Vice Speaker Kozo Watanabe to open in Aizuwakamatsu

A memorial hall is set to open in honor of Kozo Watanabe, former vice speaker of the House of Representatives, at his home in the Jotomachi district of Aizuwakamatsu city, possibly in early November. Watanabe died at the age of 88 in 2020 after a career as a heavyweight political figure who served as welfare minister, home affairs minister, and trade and industry minister before taking up the post in the lower house. The hall is planned to display items related to him, including his art collection. People associated with him hope that the hall will be a place where younger generations of local people can learn about his life as a politician who devoted himself to the development of his hometown. Photo: Memorial hall curator Yasuo Watanabe (right) and Masahide Suzuki, former mayor of Bandai town, stand in front of a bronze statue of Kozo Watanabe. (Translated by Kyodo News)