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Asahi Breweries Ltd. said Friday it had named Hitoshi Ogita, president of Asahi Soft Drinks Co., to replace President Koichi Ikeda, as the country’s top brewer faces growing pressure from rival Kirin Brewery Co.

Ikeda, 65, president of Asahi Breweries since 2002, will become chairman and CEO, overseeing group management, including overseas operations. The reshuffle will be made official after a shareholders’ meeting in March.

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