Universal Studios Consumer Products Group has expanded its international operations to Japan, appointing William M. Rahn to the newly created position of general manager of a consumer products office in Tokyo.

Rahn will be responsible for all consumer product activities in Japan. His appointment comes as Universal embarks on Universal Studios Japan theme part in Osaka, scheduled to open in 2001. Rahn will work closely with the theme park and the new management group assembled by William Gault.

Rahn will report to Bernie Vanderfin, executive vice president of Universal Studios Consumer Products Group, and Keith Isaac, senior vice president of international licensing in London.

The Japanese market “is a tremendous opportunity that hasn’t been maximized,” said James Klein, president of Universal’s consumer products group. Among the projects Rahn will be working on in Japan will be merchandising this summer’s event film “The Lost World” and establishing retail and merchandising partnerships and co-ventures.

Rahn was formerly the general manager of the international division of Simon Marketing Intl.. He opened the Tokyo office of Simon Marketing, consulting with major clients such as Walt Disney Attractions, United Intl. Pictures, Delta Air Lines and Coca Cola.

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