December 12, 2020
About 1,500 people attended a memorial gathering of MATSUDA Masatake who died on May 19 at 84, on Friday, December 11 at Hotel New Ohtani in Tokyo. Prime Minister SUGA Yoshihide headed the mourners.
As Chairman/President of East Japan Railways Co. , MATSUDA promoted the April 1987 privatization of the state owned Japanese National Railways. JNR had accumulated long-term debts of 37.1 trillion yen due to excessive investments driven by political interests and the morale of its workers were also deteriorating amid the escalation of labor union activities. Matsuda blazed a path toward its re-development project at and around major train stations, the launch of distribution business and the introduction of the Suica e-money and train fare card.
MATSUDA, an avid baseball fan, lead the Japan Amateur Baseball Association (JABA) for 5 years from 2005 to 2010 and helped Inter-city Baseball Championship to grow. As vice president of IBAF, he advocated introduction of “tie-breaking rule” at international baseball games which went into practice from 2008 Olympic Game in Beijing. He served as Vice President of the International Baseball Federation (current World Baseball Softball Confederation) for 4 years from 2005 to 2009 as well as Vice President of Baseball Federation of Asia.
He was posthumously conferred Senior Third Rank Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun.