Nippon Steel Corp. said Thursday that Akio Mimura, one of its six executive vice presidents, will be promoted to president April 1, succeeding Akira Chihaya.

Japan’s largest steelmaker said the decision on the top management change was formalized at a board meeting.

Chihaya, 67, will become chairman with representative rights, replacing Takashi Imai.

Imai, a former chairman of the Japan Federation of Economic Organizations (Keidanren), will become senior adviser and honorary chairman. Keidanren is now known as the Japan Business Federation (Nippon Keidanren).

Imai, 73, is to retire from Nippon Steel’s board following a general shareholders’ meeting in late June.

Mimura, 62, joined Fuji Iron and Steel Co. in 1963. The company merged with Yawata Iron and Steel Co. in 1970 to create Nippon Steel.

Long involved in marketing, Mimura represented Nippon Steel in last year’s negotiations with automakers to raise the price of sheet steel.

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