Saito Takao, the creator of manga series, "Golgo 13," has died. He was 84.
Saito created what is known as "gekiga," a style of graphic manga that depicts the characters and story background realistically.
In the series, the main character "Golgo 13," who goes by the pseudonym Duke Togo, is a taciturn sniper and professional assassin for hire. His nationality, age and true name are a mystery.
The series ran in a comic magazine for more than half a century from 1968.
Timely international issues such as the Cold War, terrorism and ethnic strife were incorporated into the stories, making the series widely popular even among businesspeople and politicians.
The series has also been published as a comic book, and the 201st volume came out in July.
"Golgo 13" has won a Guinness World Record as the manga series with the largest number of volumes in circulation worldwide.
Saito died last Friday of pancreatic cancer.