Yoshinari Shimatani promoted

Tokyo — Toho, Japan’s biggest distrib and exhib, is upping managing director Yoshinari Shimatani to prexy.

He replaces Hideyuki Takai, 70, who will continue to serve as an adviser. The appointment is expected to be ratified at the May 26 shareholders’ meeting.

Shimatani is currently in charge of Toho’s film production and planning department. He joined the company in 1975. He was appointed to his current rank in 2007.

Toho has been on a roll at the box office with both its own pics and those it distribs for its partners, including major TV networks and toon houses. Last year the company set an inhouse box office record of $900 million led by Studio Ghibli toon “The Borrowers.”

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