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Japan's 'Uncle Olympics' who attended 14 summer games dies at 92

Naotoshi Yamada is seen dressed up in his usual "Olympic Ojisan" outfit in this photo taken in Tokyo's Minato Ward, on Dec. 4, 2017. (Mainichi/Ikuko Aoyama)

TOKYO -- Businessman Naotoshi Yamada, better known as "Olympic Ojisan" or "Uncle Olympics," who attended all summer games to cheer on Japan from 1964, passed away due to heart failure on March 9 at a hospital here. He was 92.

The man, originally from the central Japan prefecture of Toyama, was the chairman of Naniwa Syouji Co. based in Tokyo's Koto Ward, which mainly processes and sells wire rope.

Yamada attended all 14 summer Olympics from the 1964 Tokyo Games to the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games. The popular figure stood out among the audience as he often wore a traditional Japanese jacket and a golden hat while cheering loudly and waving the Japanese flag.

His private funeral was held by close relatives and a ceremony to bid him farewell will take place at Tokyo Kiba Hotel, in Koto Ward, from 2 p.m. on April 16.

(Japanese original by Kentaro Mori, City News Department)

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