TOKYO -- Shin-Etsu Chemical Chairman Chihiro Kanagawa died of pneumonia on Jan. 1, the Japanese company announced on Thursday. Kanagawa was 96.
Shin-Etsu is the largest maker of silicon wafers -- a key material for semiconductor products -- and polyvinyl chloride. Kanagawa, who was quick to make decisions on large investments using his sharp views of market and demand situations, led the company in establishing itself as the leading wafer maker. He was known as one of Japan's leading businesspeople.