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The newly appointed head of the Riken research institute has pledged to restore its reputation as a global leader in the field.

Hiroshi Matsumoto, a 72-year-old space plasma physicist who received a state Medal with Purple Ribbon in 2007, made the vow on Wednesday as he succeeded 76-year-old Ryoji Noyori as president of the state-backed institution. Noyori departed on Tuesday.

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