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Yasuda Fire & Marine Insurance Co. announced Friday it will promote Managing Director Hiroshi Hirano to president, effective April 1.

Hirano, 56, will replace incumbent President Koichi Ariyoshi, 63, who will become chairman of the company. Hirano joined the nation’s second-largest nonlife insurance firm in 1965 and took his current post in June 1997 after becoming a board member in 1994.

The change is aimed at rejuvenating the company’s management team to better deal with increasing competition in the industry since the liberalization of insurance premium rates last summer, company officials said. In April, Ariyoshi’s third two-year term as president will expire.

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