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ASICS chairman dies at 89


KOBE, Japan ASICS chairman Kihachiro Onitsuka died on Sept. 29 of heart failure in a hospital in Kobe, Japan, the company announced Monday. He was 89.

In 1949, Onitsuka started Onitsuka Co., the first sports shoe company in Japan. Using many creative ideas, he released epoch-making products. In 1977, ASICS was formed through a merger of Onitsuka Co., G.T.O. Co., an equipment manufacturer, and Jelenk Co., a sports apparel manufacturer. Onitsuka became the president and aimed to diversify the business to be more competitive on the global sporting goods market.

In 1992, he became chairman of ASICS, a position he held until his death. Today ASICS is the fifth largest sports goods manufacturer.

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