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NAGOYA (Kyodo) Masayuki Matsumoto, vice president of Central Japan Railway Co. (JR Tokai), will assume the carrier’s presidency in June, succeeding Toshiyuki Kasai, JR Tokai officials said Friday.

Kasai, who has spearheaded efforts to fully privatize the once state-run railway, will become chairman of JR Tokai with legal rights to represent the firm, the officials said.

The appointments will be unofficially approved by the board of the Nagoya-based railway in mid-May, they said.

They will be formalized at another board meeting set to follow a general shareholders’ meeting slated for late June.

Kasai, 63, had been leading efforts to bolster the firm’s profitability and cut its huge debt since assuming the presidency in 1995. Under his leadership, JR Tokai launched shinkansen services at Shinagawa Station.

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