(From the Slot.it company page on Facebook)
"It is with great sadness that we announce that Nori Ono-san has passed away.
Ono-san was the genius inventor and driving force behind Plafit. He was our distributor in Japan for many years, a business gentleman. He will be missed."
The photo above shows Ono-san (right) with all of the drivers entered in the 2008 Plafit Pan-Am Championships. Ono-san was the honorary race director for the event.
The below photo shows him being honored. One of the very few (possibly only) times I have seen him not wearing a hat.