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Machinery & Industrial Equipment

Japanese executive known for 'pre-funeral' dead at 81

Former Komatsu chief Satoru Anzaki shook up approach to death

An innovator in life, Satoru Anzaki helped change Japan's conversation on death with his "living funeral."

TOKYO -- Ex-Komatsu President Satoru Anzaki died on Saturday at 81, months after the former chief of the Japanese construction machinery builder celebrated with friends and colleagues at his own funeral.

When diagnosed with gallbladder cancer in October, Anzaki made it his mission to enjoy the time he had left. Around 1,000 guests, including business associates and classmates from Hitotsubashi University, filled a Tokyo hotel ballroom in December to fete their friend and colleague. The wheelchair-using Anzaki greeted each.

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