Former chief who led efforts to stabilize Fukushima nuclear plant after disaster has died

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Tokyo Electric Power Co. says the former chief of Japan's crippled nuclear power plant, Masao Yoshida, has died of cancer of the esophagus. He was 58.

TEPCO officials said Yoshida's illness was not related to radioactive exposure.

Yoshida led efforts to stabilize the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant after it was hit by the March 11, 2011, earthquake and tsunami.

TEPCO spokesman Yoshimi Hitosugi said Yoshida died Tuesday morning at a Tokyo hospital.

Yoshida had stepped down as head of the plant in December 2011, citing the cancer, after workers had begun to bring it under control.