Founder of Daiso dies at 80

KUALA LUMPUR: The billionaire founder of Daiso Industries Company Ltd, Hirotake Yano, has died at the age of 80.

The company, in a statement yesterday, said its former president and chairman died of heart failure on Feb 12 in Hiroshima.

"A private funeral has already been held by close family members... we will hold a gathering to commemorate him, sometime in the near future."

Yano graduated Chuo University in Hachioji in 1967 and founded the company which he named Yano Shoten five years later. In 1977, the company was incorporated as under the name Daiso Sangyo.

In 1987, he began developing the 100 Yen Shop Daiso.

Yano opened the first directly-managed store in Takamatsu City in the Kagawa Prefecture In 1991.

The first overseas store was opened in Taiwan in 2001, leading to a chain of stores around the world, including in Malaysia.

It has been reported that as of the end of last year, there were 4,360 Daiso stores in Japan and almost 1,000 overseas, across Asia, in North America and the Middle East.

According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Yano had a net worth of US$1.9 billion.

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