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Inamori set to leave JAL board

Kyodo

Japan Airlines Co. Chairman Emeritus Kazuo Inamori will retire from JAL’s board of directors on March 31, effectively giving its management a freer hand, a source said Thursday.

Although Inamori will retain the honorary chairmanship, his duties will be limited to advising the management team.

Inamori, founder of electronics maker Kyocera Corp., assumed the chairmanship of JAL in February 2010 at the request of then-Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama, a month after it had filed for bankruptcy protection. Under his guidance, the nation’s former flagship carrier turned itself around.

Inamori said earlier that he intended to limit his involvement in JAL’s management to around three years.

JAL’s recovery was aided in part by public assistance from a government-backed turnaround entity. Inamori is credited with instilling a focus on profitability in JAL’s managers.

JAL posted a record group operating profit of ¥205 billion in the year that ended on March 31, 2012. Last September, its shares were relisted on the first section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange.