Matsuoka to head Toho-Towa

Company handles Universal pics in Japan

TOKYO — Hiro Matsuoka has been tapped as prexy of foreign pic distrib Toho-Towa.

The son of Toho chairman Isao Matsuoka and managing director at Toho-Towa prior to his appointment, Matsuoka is only the fourth prexy at the venerable distrib since the end of WW2. He replaces Hisanori Hiranuma, who served at the top for 15 years.

Founded in 1928 by Nagamasa Kawakita, a pioneer importer of European pics to Japan, Toho-Towa is a member of the Toho group, but is managed independently of the parent company.

Toho-Towa has been distribbing Universal pics in Japan since the end of last year, including “The Bourne Ultimatum,” “American Gangster” and “Charlie Wilson’s War.” It has also handled “Elizabeth: The Golden Age,” “Atonement” and “Mr. Bean’s Holiday” from Working Title. Upcoming in 2009 is “Terminator 4.”

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