TOKYO

A Japanese lawmaker and former transportation minister was confirmed to have died of COVID-19, becoming the first MP in the country to succumb to the disease, the Kyodo News agency reported Monday. 

Lawmaker Yuichiro Hata, 53, of the main opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan (CDPJ), who is also the son of former Prime Minister Tsutomu Hata, died at the hospital where he was referred for a PCR test, the news agency reported.

Yukio Edano, the leader of the CDPJ, expressed sorrow and sadness over the loss of Hata.

So far, five Japanese lawmakers have tested positive for the coronavirus, according to Kyodo.

As of Tuesday, Japan had registered 3,152 deaths from COVID-19, while over 184,500 people have recovered from the disease. There have been more than 223,000 confirmed cases in the country.

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