Former Japanese Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto died on Saturday at the International Medical Center of Japan in Tokyo. He was 68.
Gaku Hashimoto, Hashimoto's second son, told reporters that his father, who underwent surgery to remove a large part of his intestine in early June, died at 2 pm (local time) on Saturday from multiple organ failure and septic shock.
The elder Hashimoto also underwent an operation for acute mitral regurgitation, a heart disorder, in February 2002.
A House of Representatives member since 1963 and premier from January 1996 to July 1998, Hashimoto retired from politics without seeking re-election in last September's general election, citing poor health without elaborating.
Hashimoto led what was then the largest faction of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) until last July, when he resigned from the post over a 100 million yen political donation scandal involving his faction and a dental lobby.
Gaku Hashimoto secured the lower house seat in the former premier's constituency in Okayama Prefecture, and his faction, officially known as the "Heisei Study Group," was outnumbered by a rival faction from which Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi vaulted to power.
During his tenure, Hashimoto advocated financial and administrative reform, and paved the way for streamlining the central government structure into the Cabinet Office as well as 12 ministries and agencies.