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Sam Jameson, 76, longtime L.A. Times Tokyo bureau chief

TOKYO — The former longtime Los Angeles Times’ Tokyo bureau chief, Sam Jameson, who lived in Japan for half a century and had a deep personal bond with the country, has died. He was 76.

Mr. Jameson, who wrote more than 3,000 bylined stories for the Times from Japan and around Asia, died April 19 at a Tokyo hospital of a stroke, his sister Pat, of Denver, told the newspaper. The Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan said a private funeral was held for Mr. Jameson in Tokyo on Monday.

He first arrived in Japan in 1960 with the U.S. Army and worked for the military newspaper Pacific Stars & Stripes. In 1963, he became the Chicago Tribune’s Tokyo bureau chief, and in 1971 moved to the Los Angeles Times, heading the Tokyo bureau until 1996.

Fluent in Japanese, Mr. Jameson developed many sources among Japanese political and business leaders during his career, and was widely respected within the journalistic and diplomatic communities. He forged close relationships with several Japanese prime ministers, especially Yasuhiro Nakasone and Masayoshi Ohira, the newspaper said.

“Whereas other reporters often use Western diplomats as sources” when covering foreign news, “Western diplomats in Japan used Sam as a source,” Bob Gibson, a former Times foreign editor who hired Mr. Jameson for the Tokyo bureau, said in the newspaper’s obituary.

Mr. Jameson covered Japan’s economic rise and the bursting of its asset bubble in the early 1990s, as well as the 1995 Kobe earthquake and sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway system the same year. He also sent dispatches from South Korea and elsewhere in Asia. During the Vietnam War, he covered the conflict there for the Chicago Tribune.

After leaving the Times, he remained in Japan and worked as a free-lancer and was often seen asking questions at news conferences at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan, where he was a longtime member and president in the early 1970s.

Mr. Jameson was born Aug. 9, 1936, in Pittsburgh, and grew up in Pennsylvania and Ohio. He is survived only by his younger sister Pat.

Mr. Jameson had been hospitalized for pneumonia and heart failure since March 24, the newspaper said.


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