February 22, 2012
In Memoriam Seiji Sato, 1934 - 2012
With the passing away of Seiji Sato, on 19 January, 2012, the former President of Ohmsha, Tokyo, the STM Community has lost one of its most colorful members. Seiji-san joined his company in 1949 as a 15 year old schoolboy, earning a living while studying. He was appointed Director of the Publishing Department in 1981, in which company unit a large number of engineering textbooks and high circulation reference works were published. Since its foundation in 1914 Ohmsha had played a leading role in Japanese engineering and academic publishing. In parallel with rapid promotions (Managing Director 1985, Senior Managing Director in 1988, and President in 1990), Seiji-san undertook the company's first steps towards international business. This included annual exhibitions at the Frankfurt Book Fair starting in 1980. He also personally attended all the subsequent FBF's up to and including 2009.
Seiji-san became STM Executive Board member in 1994, and Chairman of the Japanese Chapter the following year, the same year he was elected IPCC member. This was followed in 1996 by the launch of the STM Japan News and the STM Japanese Chapter Inauguration Seminar in Tokyo. In 1998 he chaired the IPA Fourth International Copyright Symposium in Tokyo.
His international endeavors included the formation in the mid-nineties of the typesetting and publishing company BOKTP in Beijing, a joint venture involving Ohmsha, Science Press and IOS Press. Around the same time followed the joint venture, AKA, Akademische Verlagsgesellschaft, in Berlin, also involving IOS Press. Seiji-san held Board positions in BOKTP and AKA as well as IOS Press. He was an ardent traveler, visiting Europe and the US at least once a year, Beijing and Seoul several times per year, in addition to a large number of other destinations - often in connection with STM Association business. He was mostly accompanied on his travels by his long time interpreter, Ms. Motomi Sato. As President of Ohmsha Seiji-san was succeeded by his deputy, Mr. Osami Takeo.
We foreign contacts of Seiji-san remember him as a warm-hearted, generous, always good-humored friend of STM colleagues in all parts of the world. We all miss him very much.
Einar H. Fredriksson, February, 2012