Naoji Iwatani, founder of Iwatani International Corp and known as the 'father of propane gas' has died.

Born in 1903, Iwatani set up Iwatani Naoji Shoten to sell oxygen, carbide and welding materials.

The company was reorganised into Iwatani International Corp in 1945 and Iwatani served as president for 40 years.

In 1953, when most Japanese households were still using firewood for cooking, Iwatani International launched sales of liquefied petroleum gas under the brand name Marui Propane, marking Japan's first sales of propane gas as household fuel.

Iwatani International is now the nation's largest LP gas company with some 1,400 employees. It posted a group net profit of 4.1 billion yen on sales of 583.5 billion yen in the business year that ended March 31.

Iwatani died of old age, he was 102.

For further information:
Iwatani International Corporation (IIC)