Jun Sakakibara, 62, a senior managing director of Jiji Press Ltd., has been named president and chief executive officer of Japan’s leading news agency, Jiji Press said Monday.

The appointment of Sakakibara, who will succeed incumbent President Masatoshi Murakami, 67, will be formalized by the board of directors after the annual shareholders’ meeting June 29.

Murakami, who has been at the wire service’s helm since 1996, will step aside and take the post of consultant.

After entering Jiji Press in 1964, Sakakibara served as deputy managing editor and director of the General Administration Department. He was named senior managing director in June 2000.

Jiji Press also decided to reduce the number of board members, including president, to five from the current seven.

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