Toru Takahashi is a respected AP Asia photo editor who has died at 62

TOKYO -- Toru Takatahashi, a Tokyo-based photographer and photo editor for The Associated Press, has passed away.

Toru Takahashi is a respected AP Asia photo editor who has died at 62

TOKYO -- Toru Takatahashi, a Tokyo-based photographer and photo editor for The Associated Press, has passed away. He spent his entire career meticulously capturing images, and sharing his vast knowledge with his colleagues. He was 62.

According to Mieko Takahashi's wife, Takahashi, Takahashi died Friday after being treated for lung cancer.

He is originally from Kumamoto, southern Japan. He joined AP Tokyo as an editorial assistant and ran errands to reporters and photographers. After learning English and photography from senior staff members he was eventually offered a job as an editor and photographer.

Takahashi is known for his humor and unwavering attention to detail while on assignment or preparing photos for publication by colleagues.

Mark Baker, AP's New Zealand and Australia photo editor, said that Toru was "the ultimate professional on (the editing) desk", never skimping, and always pointed out where and when you were wrong. He also treated everyone with respect," He cared deeply about the photo service and left a legacy of photographers who can tone and caption.

Takahashi, early in his career, asked Chikako Yatabe to send him to cover a Formula One race at central Japan. He said that the AP would not regret it.

Yatabe stated, "And just like he promised. He proved to be an excelent photojournalist at different sports events as well general news coverage."

During his 36-year AP career, Takahashi covered a variety of important overseas events, including Hong Kong's 1997 reversion from China and the 2002 South Korean presidential elections. He also covered two Olympics, the Sydney Games 2000 and Beijing Games 2008, and seven F-1 races as both an editor and photographer.

Yatabe stated that he was an inspiration to many of his coworkers, not only because of his work ethic, but also because of the wit of his personality. He was always surrounded by laughter.

Takahashi used to sit hunched at his computer, a chocolate-covered doughnut in his hand, and edit hundreds of photos submitted by photographers from AP bureaus all over the globe.

He was also an excellent photographer.

He captured a momentous moment in 2016 when Panamanian boxer Luis Concepcion defeated Japan's KoheiKono in a WBA super flyweight title bout.

Takahashi posted on an AP blog that Concepcion "suddenly dashed to one corner of the ring, and climbed up all the ropes." "I was hoping he would entertain the crowd so I pointed my camera at him. But then, he jumped from the rope and did an inverted flip. Although I wasn't expecting him to display such acrobatic joy on the ring, I was fortunate to capture a frame showing the contrast between the celebrating champion and his staff, almost emotionless.

Takahashi chose to return home over staying in the hospital.

"He texted me to say he was going for the victory. He also said, "Home is comfortable." I was not surprised by his reference to home. He often spoke about his family, most of the time with humor. Yirmiyan, an AP photo editor from South Asia, said that love is also important.

Takahashi's children filled Takahashi’s coffin with his favourite things. These included movies, horseracing pamphlets and baseball and boxing photos. They also filled it with his camera bag and shoes that he used for reporting trips.

His wife stated that they also played Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway To Heaven” and his favorite samurai drama theme song.

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