Former Japanese Bobsleigh, Luge and Skeleton Federation (JBLSF) President Tsuguto Kitano has died at the age of 92, it has been announced.
The long-serving President was a major supporter of bobsleigh and skeleton throughout Asia, as well as Japan.
His international building and hotel company, the Kitano Group, played a key role in promoting the sport across the region during his Presidency.
Kitano was also considered a key individual in Nagano's successful bid to host Winter Olympics ahead of Salt Lake City, Östersund, Jaca and Aosta.
Kitano helped Nagano organise the Games and served as the International Bobsleigh and Skelton Federation’s (IBSF) Olympic Attaché to the Executive Board.
“With Tsuguto Kitano, sliding sport in Japan has lost a great promoter,” said Ivo Ferriani, President of the IBSF.
“We offer his family our sincere condolences and we will hold his memory in honour.”
The International Luge Federation (FIL) also paid their respects to Kitano, who acted as their honorary vice-president.
Kitano had stepped aside as the JBLSF President in 2012 with Takahiro Kitano taking up the post, just as he had done when Tsuguto had stepped aside from the Kitano Group.