Shochiku's Otani to rep producers

TOKYO — Nobuyoshi Otani has been appointed chairman of the Motion Picture Producers’ Assn. of Japan (Eiren), the org announced Thursday.

Otani heads an eight-person board of directors including new appointee Yukichi Shinada, film critic and professor emeritus of Tama Art U.

Grandson of the founder of Shochiku, a major pic producer and distrib that started up in 1895, Otani joined the company out of college in 1968.

Early in 1998, he led a boardroom coup against the father-son management team of Toru and Kazuyoshi Okuyama and took over as prexy. He and his new team radically restructured the company, axing an unprofitable theme park, trimming staff and cutting back production.

In 2004, with Shochiku back on a firm financial footing, he turned over the reins to Jay Sakomoto, the current prexy, and became Shochiku chairman.

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