TOKYO (AP) _ Jun-ichi Ueno, co-owner of Asahi Shimbun, a leading Japanese newspaper, died of pneumonia at a Tokyo hospital Sunday, the company said. He was 87.

With a daily circulation of 12.7 million, the morning and afternoon paper is Japan's second most popular newspaper, after the Yomiuri Shimbun, which sells 14.6 million copies each day.

Asahi was founded in 1879, and owned jointly by Ryuhei Murayama and Riichi Ueno in 1881. Later, their grandchildren, Jun-ichi Ueno and Michiko Murayama, became the co-owners.

Ueno joined Asahi in 1937, after graduating from Kyoto University, and started working in the news department in Tokyo.

He became an executive in 1942, after serving as head of the company's printing department, but resigned in 1945, along with the paper's other executives, to share responsibility for the paper's support of Japan's role in World War II.

He became an elementary school teacher, then served as secretary-general of Kobe University of Commerce, and as secretary to Japan's Supreme Court chief justice. Ueno returned to Asahi Shimbun in 1952.

He became an executive and its co-owner in 1970, after his father and owner Seiichi Ueno died. He retired as an executive in 1994, but remained one of the paper's owners.

Two separate funerals will be held, one for Ueno's family only, and one for company employees, Asahi said.

Ueno was survived by his wife and four children.