At the end of June and beginning of July there have been an unusually high number of corporate maneuvers in the Japanese film industry.
Kiyoshi Watanabe, president and CEO of Gaga Corporation-related company Gaga America, has been appointed a member of the board and operating officer at Gaga Corporation.
The move aims to boost functions of Gaga America, which Watanabe has headed in Los Angeles since the 90s. The company assists with negotiations and acquisitions of Stateside titles and marketing of acquired films in Japan. Recent Gaga releases include Act Of Valour, Abduction and Jane Eyre.
A Gaga exec commented on the promotion: “Our aim is to increase mutual understanding between acquisitions and management to strengthen and diversify our US titles and release strategies in the Japanese market.”
Kadokawa Pictures, which was absorbed into parent company Kadokawa Shoten Publishing in January 2011, is carrying out further restructuring to its film operations.
Much of Kadokawa’s distribution, exhibition, marketing and video operations will be consolidated under the newly-named visual contents division. Both feature films and increasingly important ODS contents will be marketed, distributed and exhibited through the new unit. Recent Kadokawa releases include The Lady and in-house horror smash Sadako 3D. The Hunger Games is released on September 28.
As part of the restructuring exhibition company Kadokawa Cineplex became a wholly owned subsidiary of Kadokawa Group Publishing on July 1. Additionally, in-house production of feature films and other contents will also have their operations merged.
Among other moves in the territory, Tohokushinsha Film Corporation acquisitions manager Kinuyo Taira will now head the acquisitions department in addition to the broadcasting and programming departments.
2012 has also seen a flurry of personnel changes at Toei studios. The last few years have seen fewer board members being given advisory roles before full retirement and more taking on additional duties. Overall payroll for board members has decreased 37% to $3m annually between 2004 and 2011.
The spate of changes seems to be an effort to consolidate and streamline as domestic business opportunities shrink and global business becomes a necessity in what has traditionally been a self-sufficient market.