Isao Matsuhashi, director and executive adviser of JTB Corp., is set to be appointed chairman of Narita International Airport Corp., government officials said Wednesday.

Narita International Airport is a new company that will be set up in April as a means of privatizing the operator of Japan’s main gateway.

Masahiko Kurono, the current head of the New Tokyo International Airport Authority, will become president of the newly privatized airport operator, the officials said.

The government will officially decide the personnel lineup at the corporation’s first meeting, scheduled to be held in late March, they said.

The new company will be wholly owned by the state until around 2007, when it is expected to go public.

It will take over the operation of the airport, located 60 km east of Tokyo, from the authority on April 1. The authority, which has been running the airport since it opened in May 1978, will be disbanded.

Matsuhashi, 70, assumed his current post at JTB in June 2002, having served as president and chairman of the country’s largest travel agency.

Kurono, 62, served as vice minister of land, infrastructure and transport before becoming the head of the New Tokyo International Airport Authority in July 2002.

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