Junichi Sakomoto has been appointed president of Shochiku,one of Japan's Big Three film companies, with interests in production,distribution and exhibition.

Formerly vice president, Sakomoto replaces Nobuyoshi Otani,who served as president since emerging victorious in a boardroom coup in 1998.

The grandson of Shochiku mega-producer Shiro Kido, who ranthe studio during its postwar Golden Era, Sakomoto entered Shochiku in 1978,but left the company in 1991 to pursue a career in international law. In 1998he returned as an advisor and later that year assumed the post of vice president. Inthese capacities, he played an instrumental role in the restructuring drivethat restored Shochiku's fortunes after a near brush with corporate death. Thepress dubbed him the "Japanese Carlos Ghosn," after the Brazilianpresident of Nissan who turned the ailing car company around in just two yearsand became an industry legend.

Otani, another corporate blueblood whose grandfather was oneofShochiku's founders, will remain with the company as vice chairman.