Dr. Norio Kaifu, Professor Emeritus of the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ) and the founding Director of Subaru Telescope, passed away on April 13, 2019.
Dr. Kaifu served as the leader of the Subaru Telescope Project beginning in 1991, and devoted himself to leading the construction of the Subaru Telescope. He was appointed as the founding Director of Subaru Telescope in 1997, and led the completion of the construction phase of the Subaru Telescope (1999), and its initial operation. Dr. Kaifu also served as the Director General of NAOJ for 6 years starting from 2000, and as the President of the International Astronomical Union (IAU) from 2012 to 2015.
Dr. Kaifu's outstanding leadership and passion for astronomical research created the Subaru Telescope. It is no exaggeration to say that today's successful activities at the Subaru Telescope are supported by Dr. Kaifu's efforts. I am grieving deeply for the loss of this big star.
I would like to express my gratitude to Dr. Kaifu and respectfully mourn his passing.
Dr. Michitoshi Yoshida
Director, Subaru Telescope