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Banjiro Uemura, founder of Tohokushinsha Film Corporation, one of Japan’s longest operating film companies, has died. He was 90.

The company, which is listed on the JASDAQ stock market made the announcement on Thursday. It reported that he passed away on Oct. 15, 2019.

Uemura established the company in April 1961, running it its president until 2003. Thereafter, until 2009 he served as chairman.

“He was a true light in our lives – passionate, bright and positive. He helped keep us going during all the hard work, and there was no better person to share the joy of success with. We will all miss him,” said TFC’s current president & CEO Kiyotaka Ninomiya, in a statement.

From origins in dubbing, the company expanded into distribution and production and today operates across four divisions: TV program production, commercials, film production and digital entertainment. It is also involved in linear broadcast and on-demand services, post-production, licensing and local versioning.

In the 1960s TFC was the Japanese distributor of hit British TV series “Thunderbirds” and in 1977 enjoyed large success distributing Richard Attenborough-directed film “A Bridge Too Far.” It was also an early pioneer of satellite broadcasting, creating the Star channel with MGM, Universal and Paramount in 1986. It later had partnerships with Playboy Entertainment and A&E.