More than 500 friends and colleagues from the photographic industry descended on a hotel in Tokyo to remember Sigma Corporation founder Michihiro Yamaki (pictured), who died in January.

Japanese trade publication Pen News Weekly this week carries a four-page report on the ceremony, which took place at the city?s Imperial Hotel last week.

According to Pen, among those paying tribute was James L Chung, president of the International Photographic Council who said: ?Mr Yamaki?s commitment to excellence serves as an inspiration to all those who follow in his footsteps. He will always be remembered for his passion and professionalism in the photo imaging business.?

Tosh Komamura, former president of the Joint PhotoImaging Enterprises Association International added: ?Some 40 years ago, he was one of the leaders in a fight against the government which had requested Japanese companies voluntarily restrict exports. This meant a big blow to the industry. He always thought of the photo industry’s prosperity, and acted as pioneer. We will never forget him.?

Morio Ono, president of lens rival Tamron, said: ?When our late chairman Takejuki Arai asked the young Yamaki to join Tamron, Mr Yamaki said he wanted to have his own business.

?Later, Mr Yamaki invited Mr Arai and me to visit his factory in Aizu. He met us at the station and took Mr Arai?s hand, saying, ?This has been my dream for a long time, to have you visit and see our Aizu factory?

Michihiro?s son, Kazuto ? who has taken over as Sigma CEO ? said his father showed leadership, idealism, humanity and vision and was the ?driving force? behind the company?s success.

Michihiro Yamaki died on 18 January, aged 78.

Sigma camera